Monday, December 1, 2014

Where is home?

I took my first breath in Ohio, my first steps right there in Cleveland.

My first day of school was in Nashville. I lost my first tooth in a Kindergarten classroom in the south. I got my first stitches in a hospital there too. I built sand castles by a lake in Tennessee.

I learned to ride my bike along an alley in Pennsylvania. There is a stone house on a corner there where my father still lives, which long after my parents divorced was still  known as ,"the House".

I learned to drive in parking lots and interstates stretched from North Carolina all the way up to a an island in Maine. I crashed my first car on a bridge in Williamsport and flattened my first tire on a curb up the road.

I've been been burnt by the sun in Florida, Maine and every state in between.

I have held babies in Honduras, demolished houses in Detroit and scrubbed walls in New Orleans.

I've been white water rafting in Colorado and horse back riding too.

I have had food tours through Pittsburgh and seen the lights in the Big Apple.

I go to school in south Central PA and could be anywhere for grad school.

If I could be eating cheesecake in Pittsburgh with my best friend, holding babies in Honduras, taking classes at Messiah, going to church in Williamsport, sitting in the sun in Florida and hugging family in Ohio simultaneously-- then I might for once feel as though all of my heart was all in once place.

Instead, little parts of my life have been speckled throughout the country. I never could point to a place on a map or show you where I was 'born and raised'. Pages of my story have been written in more zip codes, cities, states and countries than I could tell you. There are very few states that do not have someone I love within their borders and very few places you can talk about where I couldn't tell you I have family there.

As I get ready to travel more, see more and taste more of this world-- I know I will be sprinkling more parts of my heart across this globe. I used to get sad whenever I left a place I loved. Sometimes between goodbye hugs I would mentally make plans to pack up and stay there for ever. I know now that you never truly leave the places and the people you love. You are apart of their story and they are apart of yours. You hear their name or see that spot on the map and your heart feels warm, happy or sometimes sad and sometimes heavy. It is a signal from your heart that an old familiar piece of itself is bouncing around in those streets or made a home in the memories of that person.

I have lost to ability to ever feel totally at home, to ever feel like one whole piece but that is just the price you pay for travelling, for seeing the world, and for loving people in every zip code and continent under the sun.

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