What does it mean to go home? To my army friends, home is anywhere thats not base, to my lone soldier friends, it means I’m going to America, and to my parents it means I will literally be sleeping in their house. To everyone that I talk to it means something else, but when I say home to myself, it doesn’t mean any of those things.
On July 9th 2014 I moved out of the house that I grew up calling home home. Since then, I have lived in several places, I’ve lived by relatives, in Yeshiva dorms, and also independently with room mates. but none of these places have ever been my home. Then I started the army and it got really confusing because I was no longer going back to the same place every night to sleep, I would spend the week on base, and then head ‘home’ for the weekend. On the weekends I was living in a shack on a kibbutz up in the middle of nowhere, I had friends there, I had an adoptive family whom I loved and who loved me, I even began collecting some things there. Was that my home? On base, even though I slept there most of the time, I lived out of my backpack, and I wasn’t comfortable being myself there, so that certainly couldn’t have been my home. Now on the weekends I have a room in Jerusalem that I sleep in, and collect my things there, I even have good friends in the building with me, but is that all that home is about?
For me when I think of the word home, it doesn’t represent so much a place anymore, as it represents a concept. It represents what my home was growing up.
Home for me is a place where I can feel comfortable dancing to the tune of my own music. Its a place I can try to make the weirdest noises possible without being nervous about who is around to hear, because the only people there are people who love me. Its where I know who my friends are, what they’re up to, and when and where we can hang out. It’s where I collect my things, and where I have my own privacy, and It’s where my family is excited to see me back home at the end of the day. My home is where I belong.
This was a home that can’t exist for me anymore, at least not now. Even when I go back to my house in Michigan where I grew up, and my parents and sister welcome me home, two of my siblings aren’t there, and almost all of my friends are away in college. Thats not where I collect my things, or go to sleep every night, but its still the place that most resembles home.
For the time being, my home is in my head, its a puzzle that is still waiting to be reassembled, but each of the individual pieces can still be appreciated on their own.
What is your home?
Thanks for reading,