“Home is not a place, but a sense of self”

“Home is not a place but a sense of self.” This comment was in my email this morning from Lisa Kramer, a fellow blogger, you should check her out.

I’m trying to think back over the course of the life of this blog, and remember if I ever wrote to you all about my gypsy nature. I can’t remember. I come by it honestly. My parents both moved a lot. First while they were married my father was in the Air Force we moved often, then when my parents split we continued to move for reasons I didn’t know.

Finally, when I was 12, I asked to move in with my grandparents.

This was the beginning of the place I called home. A little three bedroom rock house with enough of a backyard to grow a garden and build a garage. The place I was happiest. The place I grew up. The place I had my first kiss. The place I met my oldest friends.

I planted my roots firmly in the rough pink granite sands of the Hill Country, and grew like a wild wisteria dancing in a summer breeze.

Like the wisteria that wound a path around the great oak in our front yard I have traveled just enough to know where I am planted. To know where my roots will lead.

Over the course of 31 years I have lived in five states and one foreign country (at least that I am aware.) My mother tells me that as children we lived in most of the states East of the mighty Mississippi. However since I can’t remember that I will go with five. To determine the number of residences with in these five states would take an act of God. Honestly.

I know I went to 13 different schools before the end of sixth grade. 

I managed to stay in Burnet throughout junior high and high school.

On my own, I have lived in 22 different places in 13 years…that’s just since I reached age 18.

So, the bedroom I shared with my little sister for 7 years really is the one house I lived in the longest.

Yep, gypsy.

I have always sort of lived by the philosophy that “Home is where your rump rests.” You can thank Disney for that one, Pumba says it to Simba in The Lion King.

Even with all that moving I haven’t changed jobs often. I had to have some sense of stability. It is in staying at jobs for several years that I have learned how soothing life can be when nothing changes. 

“Home is not a place, but a sense of self.”

I think it is this logic that has kept me from feeling like an outsider. I am very much at home with who I am and I am a creature of habit. Different habits from most, but my habits. My quirks. I think it’s something I picked up as a kid during all the times we had to move on purpose.

Create the sanctuary within because the exterior is a mess. 

I was always an internal child. I was a thinker. I could play well with just my sisters. I loved to read. I wasn’t very good at reading until about 5th grade, but then my book hungry brain kicked in. I believe I read every Sweet Valley book ever written. I read all the Anne of Green Gables books.

I learned to love movies. Movies are a great escape for me. All the emotion of the novels I read squeezed into a two hour story. I loved the original AMC. When there really were CLASSIC movies on TV. It was a great vacation to watch Gidget mess something up with Moondoggy or to watch Beach Blanket Bingo. Sabrina, the original one with Audrey Hepburn, was an amazing film. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers could be seen in my living room regularly. Swing Time is still one of my all time favorite movies.  

Anyway, I filled my head with ideals popular in the late fifties, early sixties. That was a time when people were still concentrating on becoming the best THEY could be. Empathy, existentialism, realism, and abstract thinking.  The ME generation had yet to be invented, even though it was a product of that time. I learned the philosophical aspects and started writing. I started singing. I started thinking. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about who I wanted to be on the inside.

Witnessing the chaos of life makes the young do this. It isn’t normal, but when you’re torn from those you care about so often you become a world within.

Lisa is still right, but this is not something I want for my kids. I see my oldest doing this very thing.

I see him escaping into his toys, his books, his favorite movies because they are what is familiar to him. I see him becoming like me. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not the childhood I had envisioned for him.

When I found out I was pregnant with him I told my husband that I wanted Elijah raised in my hometown. It’s sort of like raising him in a bubble, but it is a good bubble. I want him to play in the lake, dig in a garden, play football, play baseball, run a little wild. I know it is different from when I went to school, but it is better than where we were or where we are now.

I had given my husband 5 years to make that happen. He didn’t. It didn’t. We ended up in NY. We have moved back. I got distracted by my own mess and forgot the goal. I am almost ill with my discontent. Quite simply because I forgot what I have wanted for so long. I forgot for a few days what I had wanted from the day I found out about Elijah’s existence.

I am working toward the ultimate goal once again. Having taken a long time to consider every facet of the decision. I have asked friends. I have asked family. I have considered all the good and the bad. There is some negatives to these choices…but they are far outweighed by the good.

Home is a sense of self, but stability creates a sense of home, A sense of who you are and who you will become.

Stability give you your roots, so that when you are ready you can have wings.

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10 thoughts on ““Home is not a place, but a sense of self”

  1. Lisa Wields Words says:

    Wow, I’m not sure what to say. I know I’m the one who instigated this post, but I’m still blown away. Trust me when I say I understand your struggles, because of my own struggles with planting roots and giving my daughter a foundation of sturdiness from which she can grow. But, my life, like yours had been as a gypsy, despite the fact that my family never moved at all through my childhood. My parents only changed houses after I was already in college. But still, even with that foundation, I don’t know where I call home, so I think I am starting to finally learn that I carry home with me. I may not be able to give Sarah a sturdy sense of location, but I can still giver her the strength of support and values and comfort and love which to me all come with the meaning of home. There’s no one way to do it. We did, technically, return home this year, as for the first time in 20 years I am living in my home state. But, I still haven’t figured out my place here, and in some ways it has yet to become home. That’s nobody’s fault, it is just part of my journey to creating the home I need, no matter where I am. I think, once I figure out who I am in this place, and find my sense of self, I will indeed be home.

    I hope you find your home and achieve all your goals.

    Lisa

  2. portiaganymede23 says:

    i agree with your observation and feeling of what home is; i have always thought that too. for me i have to feel like i am home someplace. oddly enough my homes are currently: two bars- just b/c of the people i know there, my BFF’s house, and wherever I am when I am around only a handful of people.

    • Megan D. says:

      Olga – I know exactly how you feel which may be another reason for my disconnect/discontent. Before I had Elijah I had a very different life and lifestyle. He is the best thing that could have EVER happened to me and is the reason I am forced to find focus. I never intended to have children, but now that I do I can’t imagine life without them. My home pre-Elijah was Noah’s Ark. A dive bar on Galveston Bay where I could work, play, and pretend to exist. I still love it there, but it’s not a life for someone with children that wants to see them realize their dreams.

  3. jamieahughes says:

    I am a retail brat myself, a Wal-Mart baby whose father had to move every two years or so if he wanted to move up that corporate ladder. I didn’t go to as many schools or states as you did, but the feelings you express in this are the exact same ones I have. Home to me is not a house, not an object or a city–home is where my family is no matter where exactly that is. I, too, escaped into books and films, played a great deal with my baby brother, and kept to myself a good deal.

    I find that this is still a factor in my life even though I’m grown, married, and living a less nomadic lifestyle. I make friends very easily and have no trouble introducing myself to others. Keeping friends, however, is another matter entirely. I lost so many every two years (before the advent of things like email, blogging, and Facebook) that I stopped trying to keep up with people. It sounds like you missed out on that because of your time in your grandparents’ home, which is a great blessing for you.

    It’s good to know I’m not alone in how I view space and the world in which I live. Great post!

    • Megan D. says:

      I am the worlds worst at keeping up with people. I thank God for facebook and telephones. Not just telephones, but cell phones that text. 100 years ago I would have been a girl that just disappeared never to be heard from again…and really it was that way until facebook. I got a facebook account the same year I had my son!

    • Megan D. says:

      The hill country is the area around Austin, TX. Lots of rolling hills, lakes, and rivers. It’s lovely. Google Texas Hill Country. It is gorgeous…”Home” is Burnet.

    • Megan D. says:

      Yes! Fredricksburg! That is about an hour away but still part of the Texas Hill Country. That’s cool! I hope you were here before this damned drought though, much prettier!

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