Monday, May 26, 2008

Home Sweet Home?


You know you aren't from Los Angeles when you decide it's a good idea to make s'mores on your balcony at 10am on a hot L.A. morning.
This is exactly what my best friend and I did the other day. As we sat there in our over sized sweats, drifting off into the nostalgia that the smell of coals and grilling brought back, we pressed together store brand graham crackers, slightly hung over and revived old Colorado camping memories, leaving the crumbs on our face and cleaning marshmallow off of dirty tree branches. We carefully picked out our sticks off the street on Burbank and hopped that some dog hadn't peed on them, or at least the pee taste would be covered up by overly burnt marshmallows.

The whole idea of "home" has been on my mind lately. Partially because, I don't really have one. Sure, I have an apartment in New York. I have an address and a roof over my head. A pillow, and a throw blankie (I have yet to buy a comforter...?) I have a cabinet and a bathroom, but it doesn't feel like home. It feels like a place that I stay at.
Half of my belongings are in storage (indefinitely) in Los Angeles, pieces of my past and photos, files, trinkets and a printer remain in the trunk of my car in Colorado. Then, the clothes that I could fit into two suitcases are in New York. I have stuff, but stuff doesn't make up for a feeling.

Fine, I have chosen to live like a Gypsy and truthfully I make anywhere I go "my home" for the time being. I find my favorite coffee shop, adapt to new friendships and create a routine. I wouldn't let go of the lifestyle I'm choosing, right now but the idea of home is as exciting as the idea of my wedding someday. Both of which seem very, very, far away. Maybe that's why I feel safe thinking about the both of them.

Home means you are committed to a place. Or having a home does. Having a home means setting timers for sprinklers, investing in a "welcome" mat, buying a spice rack from Bed Bath and Beyond and a blender that you'll let get dusty in the back of your cabinet. Home means at the end of the day you'll have somewhere to kick your feet back, throw your shoes in a pile in front of your door and misplace things but find them a couple weeks later.
Home is not only stability but it allows you to settle into your life, accept your surroundings and live in them. Home isn't just a place, but a feeling, a sense of belonging- the puzzle and you're that final piece that fits perfectly into it.

I want to choose paint colors, coordinating bathroom "stuff" toothbrush holders and a fancy plunger. I don't want to grocery shop for just a one serving meal. I'd like to buy marinades, fresh veggies and wine "just to have" for company. I'd like to finally find a place that I don't want to leave. I've accepted my need for adventure and I know that I each place, each "home", each month is just another piece in my patchwork quilt that I am making of my life. Some pieces are bright and busy, unique, others are blank, dark and confusing- but the WHOLE THING is beautiful, I'd just like a bed to place it all on at the end of the day.

My home will be a direct reflection of where I've been, who I am and will hopefully be a place that is full of light and energy, LOVE and loooong evenings of too much wine and even more conversation. Having a home would mean for me that I have taken on a new wave of acceptance of right. where. I'm. at. or at the very least that I am secure enough to have somewhere that I feel comfortable resting my head.

What does HOME mean to you and have you found it yet?

45 comments:

Auburn Kat said...

When I lived in Kansas never felt at home then I moved to Arkansas bought the house did all the decorating and finally felt at home. Now, I'm back to square one. All of my stuff except for clothes are in boxes stored at my dad's place until I can find it in me to look for a new apartment.

SLynnRo said...

Despite the fact that I am an actual real married adult living in a place decorated with real adult furniture and wedding registry gifts in a city I've lived in for three years, I don't really feel like I have a home. Because I hate the city I'm in. But I'm not sure I would work in what I thought was my ideal city anymore. I'm homeless too.

Olivia said...

'home is not where you live, it's where they understand you'- Christian Morganstern.
Love it. But am yet to find it.
And love your blog. You make yourself so vulnerable but putting all this out into cyberspace and we, your loyal readers, thank you for it. It makes us realise that we truly aren't alone.
Thank you.

Shannon said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.

We seemed to have grown up in a generation where once we graduate from high school and move out of the parent's house, we all just live somewhere to get through the lease. Then we hop on over to the next place, leaving more bits and pieces of our lives behind each time we do it. Creating memories but losing stability.

redstaplernation said...

Home, I recently realized, is where you love someone. And that sounds sappy, I know, but consider...

Last week I took my cat to the vet. They said they needed to do some bloodwork and they had to keep her for an hour or 90 minutes. My vet is so close to the house, it would have left me plenty of time to go home and watch "The Tudors" on On Demand since I missed it last week. But I got in the Jeep and realized that for as long as I have lived in this house, as long as I had my last two apartments, my cat has been there whenever I am home. And I couldn't go home without her.

So I found a bar and drank 3 pints of Blue Moon while I waited.

Lauren said...

I think home could refer to two different things. One being the actual house/apt you live in. That is home. But also, the town you live in. Does the town feel like home?

I think it takes time to make a place your home, to really adjust to it. Where you feel comfortable. It took around four months to make the town I went to college in my home and I believe the only reason it took so fast was because I made incredible friends quite soon. Alternately, it took quite a while to make my previous home, where I moved from and to again after college, home again. Although I can comfortably say it is now, I still slip. I guess old habits die hard.

So, although I can call towns home, I still can't call a singular PLACE home. Maybe one day. When i'm older.

Lacey Bean said...

Pretty much like you've said, home for me is anyplace that I can make MINE. My room in my parent's house was home, and then so was my basement apartment. Home was also my dorm room, because I decorated it how I wanted it to be, and made it cozy and lived-in. And home is now my apartment with Dave, where we get compliments all the time on how good it looks - not because it's nicely decorated, but because it's decorated to suit US.

I hope you can find your "home" soon. :)

JanelleGrace said...

I never had a home when I was a kid, not really, I left my parent's house when I was 15, and now it's just my dad's house, not my home, not some childhood memory I fondly look back on. I moved between apartments, cities, schools with my oldest sister until I was 18 and took a shot living by myself in Seattle. The time spent with my sister was probably the closest it would ever be to home. But because we never stayed anywhere for very long, I didn't have the friends that you have known your whole life or the memory of when you ran into a door when you were seven. So it was better, but it wasn't home.

I'm starting to feel more at home now, even though it feels like we are living in someone's house and it will never be ours completely, but I have someone I love and that means the world to me. So as long as I am with him, I think we could find our home eventually.

addy said...

There's a Jack Johnson song (which, coincidentally, is going to be my first dance song at my wedding) that has a line: "Home is where ever we are, if there's love there too." For me, home is where my love is, where my family is, where my best friends are... even if that's 3 different locations!

I love reading your blog, because these are all things I have been trying to figure out as well...

Ace said...

You know that line in Garden State(wait don't judge me yet) about how you can never really go home? Well I can't remember it exactly but I think it's true. I don't think I've ever really been home since I moved, for the first time, out of the house I grew up in. Ever since that first move to England I haven't been able to stop what I refer to as my "itchy feet" ever since then I have moved every 2 years. It's not that I'm not satisfied per say, just, not quite there yet. I'm not sure where there is, I have a feeling sometimes that it might be here or there, but I never know. Even now that I'm happy in my "home" the place that houses my pictures and the bottles of wine I drink with the friends I've finally made, I'm always itching to go further, to explore more. Maybe for some people home is on the move. Maybe it's the traveller in me(the actual gypsy blood) or maybe I'm just scared to put down some damn roots. If it says anything my highschool quote was "I got no time for spreadin roots, my time has come to be gone, and though our health we drank a thousand times it's time to ramble on".

Dolce said...

Home is my dog running to great me at the door and a my husband waiting to kiss me. I've lived in my house for two and a half years, this has been my longest place of residence since I was 18. It took over a year for it to really feel like home.

A Margarita said...

Home means having a wine rack, a blender, and a nice comforter set and an ugly comforter set.

Home is also where I am comfortable. Where I can retreat after a long day and feel content being surrounded by the pictures on my walls, whatever is simmering on the stove, and my scented candles.

Michelle & the City said...

honestly, i don't think i've ever really felt at "home" since i moved away from my parents house. i hope when i settle down with someone and buy a house of our own i will start getting that sense again...

Surfergrrl said...

every time i move into a new apt, i feel nostalgic for the last one, even if that place wasn't that great. But I do adjust pretty quickly. I think for each person it's different though. I don't really know how to define what makes a "home" for me, I just know it when I see it.

Larissa said...

Starting your day by making s'mores on the balcony sounds like a great idea! I've been missing out.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Olivia- THANK YOU :) Your comment made me smile.

shannon- ah yes, the get through the lease part...I've lived in what, 6 apartments already?

redstaplernation- not sappy at all. I THINK LOVE IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M MISSING....Thats why L.A. is at least good in some respect because I have some friends that I LOVE and that love me...

janellegrace- I think once I have a HIM I'd feel the same way.

addy- THANK YOU! And ah, Jack Johnson, if only he weren't married...

ace- I'm not judging at all. Garden state is one of my favorite movies, I totally forgot about that part but thats exactly true. AND I LOVE YOUR QUOTE :)

michelleand thecity- maybe thats why I always go home for a month or a coupe weeks when I need to "get it together." hm.

Camels & Chocolate said...

Having moved 14 times in the past 7 years (and traveling much of that time for my job), I definitely know you mean about having places where you "stay" that aren't home. My three years in NYC was just that. However, for the first time ever, now in San Francisco, I feel like I'm approaching this move as if it is home. I'm trying to learn the neighborhoods and become a regular at some neighborhood joints. I've bought furniture and kitchen appliances. I bought a car. I changed all of my permanent mailing addresses to list my house out here and no longer my parents' address back in Tennessee. And it feels good.

Vanessa said...

I wish i couls say I'd found home, my put down roots home. I have drifted through many cities and always make friends, find favorite spots, etc. Deciding on the permanent place is so much harder. I"m not commitment phobic, I just haven't found "it" yet.

Katelin said...

I've pretty much called Pasadena home for all my life. But now that I am anxious to move out I feel as though I'm sort of just hanging out at my parent's home but it isn't so much mine anymore. I'm hoping to find my own place soon and start on that path to making my own home too.

Sassy Molassy said...

Yeah, I've been feeling like I'm really missing out on true happiness and peace and all by not having a home or a place that's all mine. That's what happens when you want to save rent and have roommates and therefore don't ever really feel settled.

I'm tired of being out of college and not really feeling like I am. I guess that's a choice I have to make with my pocketbook in addition to my mind. BLAH!

Trixie Firecracker said...

Home is more of a feeling than a place, it's the feeling of being surrounded by the familiar - familiar neighbors, friends, the local coffee/bagel shop or bar where you go with friends. After awhile, any place can feel like home, but I suppose it all feels temporary, and maybe you'll only find a "true" home once you buy a house and all the accoutrements that come with a house.

sequined said...

I think about home a lot. I'll be leaving Germany soon and returning to the US, but I'll be at my parents' house for a least a couple of weeks. I suppose that's "home", and certainly my hometown IS home, but living at home no longer feels right. I need to establish a new base for myself, decorate it in frilly curtains and plush armchairs, and find myself a real, grown-up home.

The Flash said...

Investing in a place is what makes it feel like home, so often-- I lived in my law school apartment for three years and it never felt like home because I didn't enjoy being there, so I didn't really do a lot with regard to organizing the space to my liking or decorating it. My dorm room during my senior year of college also never felt like home even though I decorated the shit out of it (incredible hulk christmas lights and johnnie walker posters and everything!), because I slep tat my then-girlfriend's room six nights a week. you have to spend time and effort on a place for it to feel like home.

well-intentioned heartbreaker said...

Since I moved out of my parent's home at 17, I definitely haven't felt as though I have a home. My girlfriend and I have lived in the same place for 2 years now, but living in a basement suite with landlord's above us? Definitely doesn't feel like it's 'our home'. Everything in the past 4 years has been temporary.. Waiting for the next.
In the next while she plans on buying a condo, which hopefully, will be the first step in settling into having somewhere to call ours, a 'home'.

Nico said...

i'm sure a lot of people have posted "home is where the heart is" and i think that's an accurate saying.

the last time i truly felt at home was on the road, with 4 of my best friends, with just our clothes, some guitars, a drum set, and a setlist.

i know that the open road is home for me because i wonder every single day when is the next time i will embark on that again.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Nico- I feel our homes may be one in the same.....ahhhh tourrrriinnng

mn said...

I've lived in a lot of states. now on the east coast. i now have a family. to me, a home is the place where you feel a sense of ownership, an accomplishment, a place you earned all by yourself, no matter if it has small rooms or a tiny kitchen. YOU made it happen.
Having been through a lot of experiences, for me, a home is a place where your friend can crash after breaking up with her boyfriend, where your stuff has purpose, where your brother can stop by and spend the night on his way to another destination. It's a place that people can stop and rest. and have a good time. and all are welcome.
I'm waiting for my kitchen countertop, my gadgets, my welcome mat.
your "home" will come soon too.

Anonymous Amy said...

Great post.
Home is all those things; it is also, like you said, a place you don't want to leave. I think having a home is a comfort zone that becomes hard to leave. Being nomadic keeps life adventerous-- a home, although cozy and safe, can end up being a place where you hide out and fantasize about having people over for a BBQ but then you'd have to clean and buy tongs....

just me said...

I want a clothesline, two big dogs, and a husband who chops would like a pro.

Bayjb said...

I definitely consider Chicago home as it's where I live, work and have good friends, but part of me always will hold Wisconsin as home with my parents because it's where I always go to when I need a break and find refuge. One day I think another place will be home too but I haven't found it just yet.

Marianne said...

Hello, just stopping in from 20smthings - this really struck a cord with me - I feel stranded in Paris, but since I brought some photos, more clothes and above all my bedspreads back from London I'm feeling a lot more settled. Home will always be London though. *dashes off to book Eurostar*

Trish Ryan said...

I LOVE this post! Thank you for putting so well that thing I was searching so long for. (Wow, that's an awkward sentence...anyway...)

Home for me is people and stuff that will be there for more than the next couple of seasons. Things that are chosen on purpose, not just acquired because someone else abandoned them. Home is building a life, rather than merely living day-to-day. Home is a joint checking account, a joint toothbrush holder, and pulling out the same holiday decorations year after year. Home is worth searching for.

Alexis said...

I always think about that too. I went into Anthropologie yesterday and the apron I've been wanting was right there calling to me, but I have no good reason to buy it as I'm not finding much time to spend in the kitchen lately. :( I'm really looking forward to that day when I have a place that I make our home. It's going to be so cool...

:)

*DesignerGirl24* said...

I loved this post. My family started moving around when I was 10and even when I went to college I transferred 3 times before I graduated. Right now I live in Houston- my family moved here when I was in 11th grade and when I graduated college I moved back and have been back for about 2 years. My mom, both of my brothers, 2 nieces and lots of friends are still here so it's what I consider to be "home" as far as cities go. I pretty much move apartments at least once a year but I'm very attuned to making every place I live "home-y"- stuff on the walls, food in the fridge, pictures in frames. I really have no idea where the next few years are going to take me but my home is very important to me. To me, the bigger picture of home is where my family is, the smaller picture of home is something I try to create in my immediate surroundings.

Spirophita said...

Honestly, I never felt home until I bought an actual house. Living in apartments really never did it for me. It was the freedom to paint, change, do whatever I wanted--that freedom--that did it for me. And also, the kind of life that that necessitated--having to get home to mow the lawn, wanting to plant flowers in the backyard. Being able to throw in a load of laundry when I felt like it. There is something very soothing about the mundanity of everyday life when you own a home.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

anonyumous- hahaha tongs, good point.

just me- O! A husband!

designergirl24-I completely agree with you.

getdone said...

Home is the sigh of relief I feel when I walk through the door at the end of a long day.

I have moved 7 times in the past 4 years, and I have always managed to make the place my own.

Alexa said...

excellent question. for me home-home will always be where i grew up. and my home is my apartment where i am currently living. and it became home as soon as all the boxes were unpacked.

distractedspunk said...

I'm sure you already know this, but I feel so similarly. I've had a draft of what home would mean to me, but I've never completed it because I still don't know. All I know is that when I actually have a landline? I have a home.

I've been moving around lots, and though I leave tonight, I'm moving back to a house I've never lived in, where the room I'll sleep in is the guest bedroom and the computer room simultaneously. As I write this, my parents are dashing to put together some sort of dresser/closet combination so that I might be able to actually live in their house for a bit.

I understand this. I also understand not knowing where things are headed. My future is in New York for several months, then from there, it's wide open again.

m said...

for me, home is where my family is. and now that i have my new family, this boy i adore, home is where he is too. and we are moving into our first real home together this weekend, and i could not be more excited.

Marcheline said...

Home? Yes, I've found it. Found it, made it, fought for it. And I love it, and my husband-and-cats family that fills it, and the best part is the love that fills it too, and spills out all the windows into the garden.

Strange, though - whenever I sleep and dream, the house I live in is always the one I grew up in.

- M

emmaenlighted said...

I know exactly what you mean. I don't really have a home right now either...and at this point in my life I suppose I'm not really searching for any one place I'm committed to..I'm enjoying the nomadic and less-responsibility life style right now but eventually, a real home would be nice :)

Jen said...

Home to me is a place I can call my own. So right now I considermy bedroom in my parent's house home, since it's the only place I have all to myself. Hopefully soon I'll have an apartment of my own to call home.

vanessamason said...

i feel the same way. i have been living out of suitcases for 8 months now. I like the variety of places and experiences that i have had but that vague concept of home does pop up every once in a while.

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