I use the word home a lot to describe the place where I live. But when it comes down to it, this place really isn't home to me. My apartment, while it is the most awesome apartment that I, or anyone, could find for the price I pay, is really just the place I go to sleep at night. I've only been here for a few months, but I doubt that being here any longer will cause me to develop an emotional attachment. I doubt that I'll be here much longer than the year required by my lease. All of that is up in the air and I'll cross that bridge in November.
Anyway, when I think of home I can't really say that I feel like I have one. I could look at Roanoke, the place I grew up, and easily call that home. But truth is, even though I have family there and still feel that connection, Roanoke hasn't felt much like home since Dad died.
For a long time, Bluefield felt like a home to me. I spent five years in college, and another year living in town after that. The friends that I had made became my family in those days. But now we're all spread out. That family, to whom I had become so attached, now dots the map between Virginia and North Carolina.
And here, in Wake Forest, I have the Greenes. Anyone who has read this blog more than once knows that I have developed an obvious attachment to this family. They are my family. But does that make Wake Forest feel anymore like home?
They say that home is where the heart is. Thing is, I don't think my heart is in any one particular place. I've said a number of times that I never plan to move back to Roanoke. I'm far beyond calling my hometown home anymore. If I were to ever move back to the small college town that I spent so much time growing up in, it wouldn't be the same. The people that made Bluefield home wouldn't be there. I have yet to make a major attachment to this area of North Carolina. While I would miss my adopted family more than I could properly express, I think I'd be okay leaving Wake Forest at some point. Because, again, it just doesn't feel like home.
Am I thinking of home in the wrong way? Is there more to that feeling than a sense of permanence? Being in this apartment, I know my days here are numbered. I signed a lease. That contract ends in Novemeber, at which point I can choose to move on or stay here on a month-to-month basis. But even then, I'm not tied down to a permanent decision. Would it feel more like home to me knowing that I have chosen to stay voluntarily at that time?
What does home mean to you?