It’s easy to take your home for granted if you have never been without one.
I have spent most of my adult life in transition. Chasing happiness. Always wondering if it was just over the next ridge, in the next state, city, or town.
I always had a place to live. Four walls, a few sparse belongings, and a go-bag packed and ready. Having a dwelling does not mean you have a home. A home is so much more than just a place where you keep your things and spend your downtime. It took me a long time to realize that.
Each time I would arrive in a new place, I would do so with the intentions of setting down some roots.
I would find a place to live. I would unpack a few things. Maybe I would even go out and buy a few items to place around in order to simulate nesting. There was always that one bag I would leave packed though, ‘just in case.’
I got jobs, I made friends. I intended to stay. But, eventually, that go-bag I left packed in the corner would become the only thing I thought about. It never took much time before I was grabbing it and heading to the next place.
My travels took me all over the United States.
At one point, I had lived in 5 separate states within a 6 year period. Then, I got married. Surely it was going to stop now, right? Now, I could finally find home. I was positive.
Not so much. We actually moved 4 times as a couple.
In August of 2016, we moved into a small house in Kansas City, Missouri. This house was nothing special. It wasn’t the nicest place I had ever lived, nor was it in the best neighborhood I had ever been in. I didn’t have friends or family nearby. This could have been any one of the places I had lived in before.
I decided to do something different this time.
I unpacked the one thing that I had never unpacked before. My heart. I placed it on a shelf in this new place. That’s all it took. That go-bag that was always in the corner had the one thing that I needed inside of it this whole time. I took the mementos out of storage.
I made a home.
Now I can look all over this place and see parts of my story. Places I have been. Hints of where I am headed.
I created my happy place by unpacking the unpackable bag, and realizing that home can be anywhere, as long as that is where your heart is.