I'm writing this post from my family's dining room table in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I've been home for over two weeks now, which has been both wonderful and odd. It has been almost a year since I packed up my life and moved to Michigan and then on to New York. This is only the third time I've been back to Oklahoma since spreading my wings and "leaving the nest." Honestly I was so incredibly busy the past few months that I didn't have much time to get homesick, but I was definitely ready to be with my family by the time I arrived on May 11th.
I've been thinking a lot about the concept of "home" over the past couple of weeks. The more time I've spent here in Oklahoma, the more my heart feels ready to go back to New York. I've even caught myself referring to New York as "home" in everyday conversations. It is because of this transition in my heart that I began to contemplate what home really means to me.
My family moved around a lot when I was growing up. After counting it up, I discovered I lived in 10 different apartments or houses in 4 different states over the span of 23 years. Because of the constant movement, I never felt like I was able to call any one place "home." My family moved to Tulsa when I was ten, but I didn't really started to think of it as home until after I graduated college. I had spent so much time thinking of where I was going to go next that I hadn't allowed myself to become attached or to enjoy where I was currently. Now, after only a few months, I think of Nyack as home. I am now content with having two places to call home....one where I have many fond memories, and one where I am creating new ones.
Now that I no longer live in Oklahoma, I refer to it as "going home," although to me home is much more than a place. Home means my family. It means my mom and dad and my three brothers and our small energetic dachshund. It means hugs and kisses, laughter and tears, good food and strong coffee, worship sessions around the guitar, late night conversations about life and God, and hours spent simply enjoying each other's company. Tomorrow, I will pack up my oversized pink Hawaiian duffel bag and journey back to New York. I am excited to return to the place where I am starting my own little life, but there is a part of my heart that will always belong to Oklahoma. This is home to me, and I will never tire of coming back.