Honest Thoughts on Redefining the Word "Home"

written by Founder kayla hollatz

Honest Thoughts on Redefining the Word Home by Kayla Hollatz on #createlounge

This post originally appeared in my business-focused mailing list over at kaylahollatz.com. Sign up to receive them today here

 

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to fly down south. 

And not just for the Minnesota winters.

I grew up in Arizona until my family relocated to Minnesota when I was seven years old. And while I love my family and friends here, I spent every day of my childhood daydreaming about moving back to where the sun shines everyday and you can wear shorts more than just 3 months out of the year. 

My desire to move down south intensified in my junior year of college when I felt a strange spiritual pull to move to Atlanta. I had never been there and I didn't know anyone who lived there but still, my heart whispered Go

It wasn't until last October, four years later, that I visited Atlanta. While I got to meet dozens of #createlounge friends and tasted some of the best food I've ever had, I still knew from my very first drive around the city that I was meant to stay in Minneapolis. 

It's funny how your mind can be so set on wanting to flee but your heart urges you to be comfortable where you currently are. 

No place has ever felt like "home" to me, but maybe that's an invitation to change its definition. 

I recently shared with my business mailing list community  about my experience in Atlanta and how I'm finally allowing myself to make a home here in Minneapolis. Through this newsletter, I received a number of honest responses from subscribers who had beautiful stories to tell on how their definition of "home" has changed.

Here are a few stories below, shared with permission, of course. I hope they give you comfort and you find a little bit of yourself inside each one. 


Letter #1

"I'm currently in college, and I flew back home for the first time this semester last weekend. On the way back, as I watched the sun rise on the plane ride home, I pondered what 'home' really means. I'm torn, because my college has started to feel like home- my tiny dorm room, the lovely study nook I study at every morning. But I also have a home back in Texas, where I'm from. I struggle with defining my sense of home now that I feel so torn between two places. And then there's always that starry-eyed version of me who is only truly alive wandering the streets of a big city. Where do people like us really fit in? It's such an intriguing question, and one I've been grappling with a lot lately."
Aneeqah N
 

Dear Aneeqah,

Wow, that question you asked just broke me. "Where do people like us really fit in?" I think it comes from us trying to fit ourselves into what we've been told 'home' is and isn't. Maybe it's a new set of bricks, a cushy job, or even a budding relationship. 

The problem with believing home is something we find is that we're either constantly searching for it, or we've finally found it and something changes. Then home isn't what it used to be and we're left to pick up the broken pieces and form it into a mosaic that will hopefully resemble what it once was. It never does, though. 

I'd rather become the girl who didn't wait to find a home but rather made a home wherever she went. Home can be a studio apartment that can hardly fit your couch through the doorway. Home can be a comforting friendship that may not be the forever kind. Home can be a dimly-lit porch with wooden stairs that will only last one more winter. 

Just know wherever you are right now, you belong there. 

Cheers, Kayla Hollatz


Letter #2

"At the beginning of the year, my husband and I moved to a small town for his job and while it is a nice town and I enjoy living here, it has been hard for it to really be home because we haven't found many friends our age. So we spend a lot of time in our apartment. I first met my husband when we were at Texas A&M and we were both part of a student church group that we lovingly referred to as our 'home away from home' and it was. And it was a home away from home because of the people and friends that were there. But now that group of friends from college have spread across the state and country. So we all have locations we call home, but they are missing people to make it feel like a home. We are trying to make the best of it, but it has been a challenge." - Raye Verdin

 

Dear Raye, 

This happened to me right out of college too. I was certain I'd be a bird flying south after I had my diploma in hand. My friends were going to the be ones that rebuilt their home where they grew up. A few years later and now I'm wondering if my wings were given to them to carry them off to far away places while I'm still here. 

It's hard not to feel a little left behind sometimes but the beautiful thing is that you have your husband to help you make the best of where you are. You both serve as great reminders to each other. 

Sending you love while you settle in and wings when it's time to fly. 

Cheers, Kayla Hollatz


Letter #3

"Every single day I struggle with the idea of home. I have felt homeless since I was 15 and my step-dad abruptly left.  Even though I always had a stable 'home', that feeling was gone. Now that I travel, I have no idea what home means. I don’t know if it’s a place or a feeling. Maybe both. Maybe neither. I know where I want to be. I don’t know want I want my daily life to look like. I don’t know anything. All I know is that I feel most at home when I am surrounded (physically or virtually, but most physically) by people who love me unconditionally and make me laugh. I struggle with 'home' so much that I try not to use the word. You know when you’re ready to leave an event and you think to yourself, 'I just want to go home.'? I try not to say or think things like that. I try to say 'apartment or condo' or any other word that describes the physical location rather than the word 'home.'" - Amber Monaco

 

Dear Amber, 

What makes the word 'home' hard to define is that it's forever changing, even though the word itself gives the impression of some sort of permanency. It's putting down roots. It's knowing where you ought to be. It's staying, but some seasons flip home on its head and you're left to scramble.

I hope the word "home" can instead be attached to who you are rather than a physical space, especially as you travel around the world. You are your best companion. Sending love and light!

Cheers, Kayla Hollatz


 

KAYLA HOLLATZ, FOUNDER OF #CREATELOUNGE

Kayla Hollatz is a copywriter and social media strategist by trade and a community builder, poet, and storyteller by heart. She founded #createlounge, the first ever Twitter chat for creative bloggers and entrepreneurs, and has grown it into an online movement. She can frequently be found fighting Minnesota winters with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. 

Follow along with her on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.