I have such strong, vivid memories toward the house where I spent my childhood and adolescent years. My memories for this location are more vivid than almost any other place I’ve lived in or visited in my life. This is the place where the core years of self-development, discovery, and identity forming took place in my life, and where they take place for most individuals.
It’s interesting to think of the word “home” and what it means to various people. Do you really feel at home where you live right now? Sometimes I think that I feel “at home” in my current living situation, but at the same time, the emotional attachment and connection I feel toward where I live now, does not even compare to the what I felt and still feel toward the house and neighborhood in which I grew up.
I can still smell the intoxicating scent of my mother’s cooking; I can still feel the calming warmth of a steaming cup of hot chocolate cradled between my palms, while I looked out the window upon the gleaming blanket of white snow that silently rested in my home’s backyard. I can viscerally feel the joy erupt within me, while I remember laughing with my mother over a joke as we were tucked away in the warmth of our home’s kitchen.
The memories of my first encounters with rejection, like when I had a crush on that boy and he made fun of me, and I cried about it for hours in my bedroom, still deliver the same piercing pains into my heart; the elating, gushing feelings of infatuation still fill my being with happiness when I think about the innocent kiss I shared with my first love on my home’s living room couch.
So therefore, the question has begun to continually arise in my mind: is it possible to ever attain and/or maintain that sense of “home” ever again in one’s life?
Or is it, perhaps, an experience that is entirely unique to that phase in our lives? The phase in which we (most of us) felt the most safe, secure, and loved; the phase in which the most crucial development occurred; where we painfully molded the identity we now hold today; and where we came to discover what life really entails. Can another location possibly hold this much nostalgia as does the home in which we were raised?
Nowadays, many of us are in committed relationships, have good friendships or even may have settled down with a family. Of course, most of us feel great love from those closest to us in our lives. However, do we really feel that same sense of security that we felt (however long it may have lasted; usually once we hit puberty reality starts to take over) that we did when we were young? Will we ever feel that sense of safety and security that we once felt while being raised and protected by family members, ever again? Or is the fact that becoming an adult and becoming cognizant of the many sorrows, stressors, responsibilities and complications that go along with being alive, inhibits us from ever feeling that sense of “home” ever again?
I am only 21 years old, and I have not yet settled down with a family of my own. However, I sometimes wonder that if one does end up with a healthy, happy marriage and/or family life, if it is possible for them to feel that indescribable connectedness and sense of security that most of us so accutely felt when young, again.
What does “home” mean to you? Have you found that sense of “home,” that you may or may not have experienced while growing up, where you are now?
I’d love to hear your feedback and experiences.