Everybody gets so caught up on the subject of home. What’s the point? Home is where one hangs their heart. Home is where one grew up. For me home is a state of mind. It’s not about a place. I can’t remember a place that has ever really felt like home. I grew up in a dysfunctional household made of a poorly blended family. I won’t say that I had a wretched childhood. It just wasn’t ideal.
I love my mother more than anyone in the world and wouldn’t trade my life with her. But on the subject of home, it is the feeling I have when I know that I am at peace with the now. So home is not a set place for me. It’s not where I grew up or where my family is. Home is the setting from which my thoughts speak from my soul.
I’m moving in with my parents before I embark on my trip. I just handed over the keys to my Old Louisville apartment yesterday. I wasn’t particularly attached to that place, but I know that I don’t want to live at my parent’s house. It is a free place to stay. Plus, my mother is ecstatic about me coming home for a couple of months, even if it is only to save money. So now I’m a commuter. I have to drive 50 minutes to the city everyday for work. Oh the things we will do to save a buck. Last night was my first night at the house. I recognize the simplicity of life in the country, but I’m one for the bustle of people. But I was stuck on the notion of home. My mother kept repeating it, over and over! “I’m so glad you’re home!” I have never felt more misunderstood. My body language was enough for her to decipher that I didn’t want to be there. I tried to play it cool, but sometimes you can’t fake everything. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
My grandmother is 85 and looks like a yard gnome. She is a difficult woman, and according to my mother always has been. Her mother (my great grandmother) died last year at the ripe age of 106. They hadn’t seen each other in twenty-something years. They only lived two hours apart. Once, I remember my mother had my grandmother in the car and tried to take her to see her mother. She yelled, “I’m never going back to that goddamned town!” Haha. She moved from one trailer court to the next, all over Southern Illinois. Whenever my grandpa had another mistress, they’d pick up and move overnight. My mother is the product of that childhood. But, no matter what they went through both my grandmother and mother had unrivaled class and pride.
Home is difficult to establish when you’re on the move constantly. I think somehow you make peace with the notion and find a home in yourself. My grandmother couldn’t find home in the love of her mother. My mother couldn’t find home in those trailer courts of her childhood. And I am still seeking a stimulating experience that puts my inner battles at peace. I don’t connect with the clichés of home and family. But I do offer up the saying, “No matter where you go, remember where (or what) you came from.”