Today I flew home from being home. I know, it’s confusing sometimes. Home is where the heart is. Make yourself at home. Home, Sweet, Home. Home is whenever I’m with you. Such a simple, benign, yet loaded word. When I was young, it was common sense that home was the house where I lived—it was the place where my mom tucked me in at night, where I spent sick days watching tv on the couch, where my friends would come over to play, and where there was an infinite supply of toilet paper and Alpha-Bits cereal. Now, it’s not so simple. On nights when I explain where I’m going after a movie, it may mean the place I sleep and keep my stuff, but when I’m asked if I’m going home for Christmas, or “Where’s home?” it’s not so black or white. Today I walked through the Chicago airport, my flight delayed and running on empty, and felt this strange feeling, the kind that occurs when you mix black and white together, turning it into an unidentifiable shade of grey. I felt sad to be leaving home, but at the same time excited to be going home. My awareness sparked another color to enter the mix, a bright and joyful color. I realized that whether I’m in one city or another, one house or another, with family or not, the only consistent thing is me. If it’s familiarity that matters, then certainly the Chicago airport should feel more like home than some of the places I’ve lived, but I really don’t think “home” is a place in the traditional sense. It’s a state of being. It’s a feeling of comfort, of presence, and a complete acceptance of where you are in that moment in time—literally and figuratively.
In the end, it’s much less work to focus on building your internal home than trying to control everything outside, travel long distances, or buy lots of material things, just to get that feeling. Certainly places can inspire nostalgia or make living more comfortable, but if we practice being present and excited about where we are, then why can’t the whole world feel like home? Instead of setting a resolution that’s based on getting a result this year, I’m going to start building the biggest home in the world—so big it encompasses the entire planet (and maybe beyond!), yet is entirely invisible. A home where every person on Earth is welcome, and no room is off limits. A home where the only keys I need are an open mind and an open heart, and an open-door policy for new experiences. That way I’ll never have to worry about whether I’m leaving home or coming home, but simply being.