(An old post for a new day. And oh, so apropos.)
by LAURIE on SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
I’ve never really given much thought to what “home” is. Never thought of it as anything but where I go to lay my head. Comfortable, yes. But just a place. Truth be told, I didn’t have a reason to think about it. Ever. Maybe I don’t now. Maybe I’m wrong and I just felt like spewing some bullshit to take up a little piece of your day… I guess I’ll have to leave that up to you.
But it seems to me, and much to my own surprise, I’ve found my home is not the four walls that surround me and the roof over my head. It’s not the place I come to after a long day of work or a longer night of play, and look around and say “oh, I have to do those dishes again….” No, home isn’t about walls and boundaries. Not today.
Today, as I see it–and I’m almost sure I always have–home can be where you lay your head for a night or two, or for twenty years, as long as you know when you’re laying it down you’re exactly where you want to be. Home is where your heart is. Home is, my heart.
Yes, I know it sounds too cliché to move forward with this, but let me explain. I’ll do no whining as I have the past, what, year? It’s not been easy. Yet, through it all, I believe, I’ve found my heart. My home. And I have to say it’s rather fitting I’ve come to this conclusion these past few days, as I attempted to clean out my father’s things, his basement jewels, but broke down more than once and couldn’t remove a thing: Not the jars of screws that hang in rows over his workbench, not the buckets of clamps that he was saving ‘just in case,’ not the massive balls of aluminum foil he made, just because he could. I didn’t have the heart to throw any of it away. Not one bit.
There, in that basement, with tears streaming down my face, wondering what he would have ever done with all that stuff, I came home. I figured it out. And after all the months of trying to piece it together, of trying to understand what it’s all about, it felt good. Damn good. I finally got it.
OK, indulge me.
I’ve always been the kind of person to say “I don’t care.” I don’t care what other people think of me (and I don’t, wink wink.) I don’t care if the neighbor’s kids are doing it, if it’s wrong it’s wrong. And I don’t care if it’s in style, it looks ridiculous. You get the picture. And to let you in on a little secret, trying to put everything in perspective, I was thinking lately, maybe I was wrong. Maybe I really do care, and that’s my problem. Maybe I can’t figure it all out because I do give a rat’s ass. I do care what everyone else thinks. And it does bother me when people don’t think like I do. But today it dawned on me… Nah. Not so much.
Today I realized what I do really care about. I realized what makes me tick. I realized what can make my heart stop at the drop of a dime. And I realized what can’t. And I came to my heart. I came home. Let me explain.
I’ve taught my children from day one: Stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing by yourself… Who cares what anyone thinks as long as you know in your heart you are right… Be beautiful inside and out, no matter what they say… And I stand by all of it, one hundred percent. There’s got to be some reason why they turned out as great as they did.
And the reason is this—they don’t care either. They know who they are. They know who loves them. They know who their friends are. They’re home. They’ve been home all their lives… They’re sure.
So why has it been so hard for me to reach that point? My guess is, the teacher is really the student. I learn more from my kids every day. If you have kids, you should try it sometime. You’ll be amazed at what they know. But, that’s a story for another day. (Focus, Laurie. Focus.)
To bring this all to a head, here’s what I learned today, in a basement, surrounded by a rash of things that were only seen useful in the eyes of my father. I learned who I am. I learned where my heart is. I learned where my head is. I guess all that stuff was useful after all. Thanks, Dad.
In the past year, I’ve learned who I can count on, and who I can’t. I came home. I have to be grateful for that. Some people never know.
I’ve learned who my real friends are, who is true, and who is not. Home.
I’ve learned what is at my core. What makes me tick. Who and what comprise my heart.
My husband. Home.
… children. Home.
… family. Home.
… (real) friends. Home.
Oh yeah … other friends who mean well, but like to talk so I need to watch my back—and the knowledge that as long as I know whom these circles include, I’m golden. Home.
And all the rest of it is bullshit.
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Home, where my thought’s escaping
Home, where my music’s playing
Home, where my love lies waiting
Silently for me….
–Simon and Garfunkel
In the best way possible, Homeward Bound…