Defining home has always been a bit abstract to me. By the age of 8 if someone asked me where I was from, my explanation would begin with, “Well I was born in Ohio, but …” Bouncing from house to house as a kid made home feel like just a place instead of a feeling. I’d marvel at kids who’d grown up in the same house their whole lives, wondering what that would be like.
Home has only become more complex to define as I’ve gotten older. All through college if you asked me where I lived I’d hardly hesitate to say Florida, because that’s the place that felt like home. Moving away from Florida is probably the hardest move of many I’ve ever had to make. I’m sure I’m not the first to feel that way about leaving my college town behind.
But now, after visiting my parents for the first time in 2018, I leave the tri-state area to head to New England, still feeling torn between where home is. And in this moment of thought, a saying I’ve heard my entirely life finally rung true to me: home is truly where the heart is.
Home is in Ohio, where my heart has been rooted for 22 years. Home is in NJ/NY, where some of my oldest friends and treasured parents are. Home is in Florida, where I met the gaggle of girls I became a woman with. And Home is in the South Shore, where my love lives and grows.