Tag Archives: Home

I’ll be Home for Christmas

22 Dec

For the last couple years, every December I get a bout of the Christmas blues.  I feel alone and ready to play Joni Mitchell’s “River” on repeat.  I am also not sure what to say if I head back to Mattoon for the holidays.  When I was in college, I would tell people I was heading “home”.  But after over two years in Denver, that statement doesn’t feel accurate anymore.

Mattoon is where I grew up, where my family lives, and where I can curl up and feel immediately safe.  But it’s not really my home anymore.  Not necessarily that Denver feels like my home either.  We’ve met some great people here that Eric and I consider our “Denver family”.  They are priceless jewels on a journey where Eric and I have too often relied solely on one another for support.  However, there are big moments here where I can feel the lack of family like a huge aching hole in my heart.  We’ve moved to a place without a safety net.  It’s completely up to us to take care of one another.  I mean, most of our friends in Denver fly “home” for the holidays.

So where is home?  Maybe after a certain age home exists in many shapes and forms.  Up to this point, Eric and I believed that someday our entire family would move to Denver.  All the people we love would experience and love Colorado as we do and move here to congregate around our goals, dreams, and aspirations; our safety net would be reborn!  Even right now, this feels ridiculous.  However, Eric and I both held onto this dream with a white knuckled grip.  It helped us deal with missing our cousins, nephews, and younger sisters grow up. It helped us cover up the regret of not being there to support our parents and grandparents on a daily basis.  It helped us push away the happy hours and deep conversations that we’ve missed with close friends.

Maybe home isn’t really a place; it’s the people.  Maybe saying “my home is Denver” doesn’t feel right because my home is actually Eric, Penny, and Jojo.  My home is where my loved ones are and, right now, that’s not one specific place.  Even if I’m sitting in our Denver living room with Eric, covered in Penny and Jojo’s snuggles, our home is still scattered all over the country.

This Christmas, we’ll be staying in Denver, and I’ll be stepping into that sadness, regret, and loneliness with the knowledge that these feelings exist due to the strength of the love that I feel for my family and friends.  I miss them every day.  But it also means that my home isn’t affixed to a permanent location.  My home is all over, even in places I’ve never been before.  After all, even our tiny apartment in Denver is just an apartment without my best friend.

They say that home is where the heart is
I guess I haven’t found my home
And we keep driving round in circles
Afraid to call this place our own

And are we there yet?
Home, home, home

-Ingrid Michaelson, “Are We There Yet”