Return to your roots
You’re going to go many places during the course of your life, but I think it’s absolutely vital that you have a place that you refer to as home.
Home…is the center. Wherever you call home has shaped your personality is so many subtle but intricate ways. It’s the foundation and the location that you compare to every other place that you live.
Personally, I would be fine travelling from place to place, as long as I never forgot where I grew up. Home is the city that I lived in for the majority of my childhood. Even though I have since moved from there, the city will always have a special place in my heart. Whenever I drive half an hour back to this place, nostalgia overwhelms me. There’s the backyard that seemed to never end, the beautiful willow tree that I used to play under, and the neighborhood bubble tea joint run by the adorable couple of grandparents.
Home wouldn’t be home without the people that made it such; some of my childhood friends have since departed from the city, but the memories are still there…
The nomad life seems to be an inevitable part of life. Of course, lots of people stay in the same city for the entirety of their life, but I find nothing wrong with leaving your hometown for college and moving somewhere else, as long as you never forget where you come from. As long as a certain physical location is remembered with metaphorical significance, and as long as you never feel ashamed of your background, it seems completely appropriate that you may venture all over the world. The opposite – never leaving a city – has the tendency to confine you to a physical location and mental perspective.
There is no place like home. – L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Yesterday at debate camp, we had an intense discussion about a college debate team that used the Wizard of Oz as a metaphor for the debate community that they wanted. So that got me thinking – does a home necessarily have to be a place? Why can’t it be an activity or a community?
Debate is my home. It means not being ashamed that a majority of my friends are in the debate community, and it means that you feel more comfortable being yourself than anywhere else. It entails making memories that you will look back to and remember. It’s about triumphant wins and tragic losses, but it’s also NOT about triumphant wins and tragic losses. It’s about the people, the activity…
It’s really weird being a senior because I actually feel myself getting better at debate every single round. I can explain concepts in more detail, I understand strategies, and I have an urge to discuss debate in general. It used to not be like that. Back in freshman year, I used to have to force myself to listen or make blocks or highlight cards. What changed?
I angled my life more directly towards the debate community; I let it pervade every aspect of my life: school, decision-making, and extracurricular. It has become my home!
So in conclusion, yes. Meander where you’d like in life, because physical location is not the most important, as long as you never forget where you come from. Whether the impact of your “home” on the rest of your life has been positive or negative, know that your reaction to certain events has shaped who you are and made you a net-better person because of it. If all else fails, remember that there is a metaphysical “place” you can call home…for me, that’s policy debate.
Wordless Wednesday: The Ride Home
I feel like writing words today.
My verbal daydreaming.
The ride home is peaceful, but only in a certain sense. Sitting in the passenger seat, you become oblivious to the person in the driver seat and become lost in a deep pool of thoughts about the past, the present and the future.
The sun is setting and clouds in the sky appear as streaks of pink that gradually fade to purple into dark blue into black.
Looking one direction, you watch the sun gradually make its way towards the horizon. Look the other way, and the moon exists as merely an imprint, still low in the sky, not yet completely established.
You’ll think about your day. What you had for lunch. What your teacher said that made you think of something unrelated to class.
You’ll look at your shoes and take the time to notice details on them. The strings are frayed, the heel is worn. There are streaks on the windshield that you’ve never noticed before. There’s a leaf carefully tucked into the corner of the window, trembling as the wind strikes it, as the car zips down the road.
You’ll look out the window and watch the buildings pass by. You’ll press a finger to the glass and be grateful for once for the warmth inside of the car.
And while all of this takes place, the radio might be on. NPR might drone on about global politics. Rihanna might whine about diamonds. But the voices and sound effects fade into the background, because you are consumed in your musings.
These periods of reflection can be compared to sleeping. From what I’ve read, dreams start a couple of hours after you’ve already fallen asleep. As you have multiple dreams in one night (assuming a full, restful sleep), the dreams get longer and pull you deeper into a trance. Similarly, reflection starts shallow and becomes more substantial. And before you arrive at your destination, you’ve probably had some profound brainblast about the meaning of life, only to be forgotten as you step out of the car, out of your vehicle of reflection.
Homeless For A Day
New bed, am I right or am I right? ^
No, I was not actually homeless for a day. Perhaps this title was a little misleading. What I mean to depict is that I’m moving to a new house in a few days, and so the process of moving from one location to the next will essentially make me “homeless for a day” (or so).
A new house represents a new beginning. We are going to move into our new home just around New Years, so this winter will be full of clean slates and fresh starts.
A new house means no scuffs and scratches on the walls. It’s when all of your belongings are stuffed into boxes and there’s no excuse not to organize all of your possessions, because speak now or forever hold your piece; if you put it off now, organization is going to stay at the bottom of your to-do list FOREVER. It’s the perfect time to reorganize your closet or rearrange your furniture.
Typically, moving is more effective than “spring cleaning”. This is when that “out with the old, in with the new” phenomenon takes place. It’s the best time to toss your junk and buy newer junk. Toss out the old couch, and bring in that new futon!
A new house means choosing a new wall color, and getting to mentally decide what exactly the meaning is of that “soft periwinkle” shade on which you took hours to decide.
Ah, the frustration of having to both disassemble and reassemble your bed over the time-span of two days, and the irritation of fitting objects through doorways and transporting heavy items up flights of stairs.
It means that you can use the brown cardboard boxes as an excuse not to get other things done because your work was “trapped in a room whose doorway was cluttered with boxes,” as I claimed to my third grade piano teacher as the reason why I didn’t practice piano for three weeks.
A new house means not being able to instinctively feel your way to the bathroom in the dark for the first couple of nights, because you haven’t adjusted quite yet.
It means reaching for a bowl to dump cereal in and feeling a new cabinet knob, and it means passing through the garage to leave the house and feeling an unfamiliar door handle.
It might represent a downgrade or upgrade of your life, depending on the difference of the sizes of your previous home and your new abode.
It might mean adding someone new in your life, whether it be a boyfriend, or three new roommates.
Maybe you’re moving just ten minutes down the street (like me) or potentially ten states over. But it means your street won’t look the same and you won’t be able to recall which mailbox is yours for a few days. You’ll have to memorize a new address and redirect all of your magazine subscriptions to a new location.
It means that the way the rain hits the roof sounds different, so you won’t be able to sleep as easily when it rains at night because the new and unfamiliar sound will intrigue you, and you’ll stay up listening to the curious rhythm.