Whoever said that you shouldn’t make homes out of people must have been pretty cynical.
Don’t get me wrong, I am too. I am cynical about love. I am cynical about relationships. I am sometimes cynical about people, because frankly, I have seen what humans can do to one another without thinking twice, and I don’t always like what I see. We live in a world where people tend to think of themselves first and others second, and that can make anyone cynical.
My cynicism aside, I have moved enough times in my life to know that a home is not four walls and a roof over your head. Home isn’t a city that you were born in. Home isn’t somewhere you can hit with a dart on a map. Home is not a single place. Home isn’t even always a place, because I know for me it’s not.
Home is the person, and if you’re lucky, people, who you call when everything goes to hell. The people who answer the phone when you call at two am. Home is the arms you fall into after the best night of your life, or the worst. It is the feeling you get when you see someone who knows everything about you; your ugly secrets and your pretty lies and everything in between and still chooses to love you.
I think we are all so hesitant to make people our homes because “people always leave.” I think at the bottom of everything, we are all a little distrustful of people. Even people who don’t claim the label of a cynic are still not quick to make a home out of flesh and bones or a moment in time. It is scary to lay down roots in someone else’s being and hope for the best. Because there are always “what if’s.” What if they die? What if they leave? What if they don’t love me back? What if they wake up one morning and they don’t feel the way they felt the night before? What if? What if? What if?
I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about the what if’s. I would be lying if I said the what if’s hadn’t stopped me from letting someone all the way in or from laying down roots with someone. It has stopped me more times than I can count.
Let me say though, I have never regretted when I told the what if’s to get lost. I have never regretted the people that I have made into my home. Even the ones who came and went, I wouldn’t take those back for even a second.
I think people like the idea that homes are one single place, or one designated structure because there is a sense of security offered. There is no risk, only safety.
The truth is though, I don’t want to live my life safe. I want to have adventures and late night phone calls and road trips and tearful reunions and dramatic confessions of gratitude and nothing short of a life worth writing about. I don’t think you get that from playing it safe.
I think for some people home will always be the house they grew up in or the city that raised them. I think for some people home will always be a place you can pinpoint on a map.
I just don’t think I am one of those people.