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What Exactly Is A Home?

Updated on January 19, 2015
"We can move our residence to virtually any place we want, but it’s who and what we take with us that will provide us with a feeling of belonging."
"We can move our residence to virtually any place we want, but it’s who and what we take with us that will provide us with a feeling of belonging."

Your Own Version Of Home

When proposed with the question, “Where do you live?” most people will hopefully be able to answer with a location - the name of a city, a state, or a street, depending on who is asking. But for some, the concept of “home” may not be all that simple. The connotative meaning of home is not only the place we reside, the place to which we return to eat and sleep, but where we feel most comfortable and secure, where we can be ourselves, where we feel we belong.

Yet, in my mind, it begs the question, where do any of us really live? Is home really a place, or is it more of a feeling or a state of mind? Among those of us who are fortunate enough to call home a specific area with four walls and a roof, where do we actually belong, if anywhere at all?

See also: A Snapshot of Homelessness in the US

I prefer to think of the concept of “home” as a state of being. We can move our residence to virtually any place we want, but it’s who and what we take with us that will provide us with a feeling of belonging. There have been several people whom I’ve met through the years, who consider their homes to be out on the open road or co-existing with nature, or basically anywhere other than where they receive their mail.

See also: Road Trips USA

Unfortunately, but not uncommonly for some, the traditional use of the word “home” could be a source of tension, of resentment, unhappiness, or even sadness. These may not be permanent feelings or situations, but for those moments in time, your home may not be the place you actually live, but the place where you seek comfort, support, and acceptance.

Originally, I planned to include a list of some of the many situations where one may feel at odds with their living conditions; examples such as family complications or lack of stability. However, there are so many personal, idiosyncratic, and subjective reasons that, instead, or rather more appropriately, this may be a better time to ask ourselves the obvious question, “Where do you live… and why”?

I suppose we can agree there are no wrong answers here, yet I can only hope it is a safe place where you can derive a sense of belonging and well-being. However, in the event that its location does not match the return address you write on greeting card envelopes, hopefully at the very least, home is a place or even a feeling you can visit any time you want.

See also: NCADV Safety Plan - Protect Yourself Against Domestic Abuse


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