We all know adulting is hard. As millennials, we’ve written about it, read about it, felt all sorts of feels about it and on the daily, we’re trying our best to allow ourselves to just BE about it.
They say, “home is where the heart is…” but what if your heart is in many different places? Will we be doomed to be torn; searching for that sense of home for all eternity? As we continue growing into adulthood, the journey is different for all of us. It’s never without obstacles and utter confusion, embarrassing moments and big wins, and although we all dance through it to our own beat, some of us rocking out to Led Zeppelin and others choosing J. Biebs, the desire for home is something most of us have.
When you’re a wandering soul like me, constantly seeking the next best move whether it be person, place or actual thing, you leave pieces of yourself wherever and with whoever you connect with along the way. Because of this, I’ve left my heart in a lot of places and now that I’m older and wiser, it’s harder to know where I truly belong.
Since graduating high school, I’ve lost count of how many different places I’ve called “home.” What defines home isn’t just based on the address where you receive your bills, it’s not necessarily the brick and mortar place you eat, sleep, shower, and repeat. Yes, home is where you feel like yourself, where you can let your topknot down and plot how to live the life of your dreams. It’s where kitchen table talks in the early morning hours occur when you’ve taken off your stilettos for the night; where you and your roomie share stories about boys, girls, work, and the amazing things you want for your future. It can be the place where you decide to sell all your furniture after hanging a map of Australia on the wall and finally deciding to book a one way ticket to a new kind of life. But what happens when the walls come down and you feel lost and without a home?
Maya Angelou described the idea of home as “the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned,” but what if, upon returning from that one way ticket adventure, everything about finding that sense of home is being questioned? Not by other people–your family, your friends, your coworkers–but by your own heart? I am coming up on two years of being back in the States. I’m in my home country where my family and friends are, where my life has always been and yet, I’ve never felt so far from home and, in many ways, so far from myself.
This is something I’ve been fighting myself to discover after returning a changed person. Maybe you’re tapping into your inner warrior to define it for yourself right along with me. There are so many quotes meant to inspire us, give us some semblance of certainty, enlighten and comfort us about the idea of home, to encourage hope, but as we continue to do this whole adulting thing, it becomes harder to truly define for ourselves. Change is the only constant in life; something we can always count on and anticipate. As we write new chapters, change our addresses and careers, encounter new people, reconnect with those from our past, it gets more challenging to feel sure of anything because as always, life comes in and adds a plot twist. But as the plot continues to thicken, waves rush into shore and back out to the deep blue, the idea of everything shifts for us. We are not set in stone, permanent or guaranteed and because of this, we learn, we feel, we love and we grow and as we move forward, home changes.
As I continue wearing well-worn Converse and occasionally rocking a night in my heels, dancing through this crazy, beautiful life, my search for home will move on. It moves on, forward, further towards the person, place or thing that feels right for me. While we face the challenges growing up brings, I find that questioning, exploring and seeking new paths of the heart bring the answers. Sometimes home will be found just for a moment; a night of singing songs with a group of strangers you just met, on a beach where a special boy kisses you for the first time, or the open road when you’re blasting your music and doing your most profound thinking. Maybe home is where you sleep each night or write your feelings into a blog post, or where you open the door again to a great love that has always held your heart. Maybe the saying meant to inspire hope has been right all along. For if we choose to live in our hearts, perhaps home can truly be anywhere.
Typically found singing loudly into her hairbrush microphone, Hallie O'Reilly doesn't take herself too seriously. She enjoys leaping into one-way ticket adventures, blazing trail and beach in her running shoes, writing about her (now) thirty something life over at little talks //, plotting a new lifestyle blog and other writing opportunities as well as tapping into her creativity through a camera lens. Follow her on Instagram.