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What Is Home?

“Where is this prime real estate?”

Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash

For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with the concept of “home.” I noticed it when I was around seven or eight when I was laying bed, crying because “I wanted to go home.” I had lived in the same house my entire life, I lived with the same people…nothing had changed. That didn’t happen too frequently, but when it did it hit me hard. When I was older and started to date I thought of the people I was dating as “home,” but even that didn’t feel right (and I wasn’t with the right people either). I met someone else, who really felt like “home,” everything was comfortable. No matter where I was, if he was there too, it felt comfortable – it was warm without turning up the thermostat. But over time I learned that it’s not healthy to put that much weight on one single person, to depend on them for being your shelter from the outside world.  

When I started going to school at URI everyone called their dorm room “home,” and I always cringed at that. It was half the size of my room at my house; the brick walls don’t feel “homey.”

I struggled with anxiety and depression and I sought to find something that I felt comfortable in, and I couldn’t. Even going back to my childhood house, I didn’t feel secure; I wasn’t comfortable.

This past summer I was looking towards this school year with so much fear, this was the first time I was living off-campus. I would have to commute to school every day, make my own food, and really learn how to be an adult. But something strange happened by the second or third week that I was there. There was this weird calmness in my chest – one that I had never experienced before. I was driving back home from school, and that’s when it hit me.

This place that I’m renting, Rhode Island in general, had become my home. It wasn’t dependent on just one person; it was dependent on everyone around me. It helped that the ocean was only two streets away, but I could breathe. I could lie in bed and just think about all I had to do, whether it was cook dinner, clean the bathroom, or write a check for National Grid…it all felt like what I was supposed to be doing.

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