This past Sunday when I was browsing PostSecret, like I do every Sunday, I saw a secret that really spoke to me. Several people have asked if I’m going home for the holidays; we’re still fairly new to the area, so it’s a reasonable question to ask. Normally I say something along the lines of, “Nah, I don’t have any family in the area,” or, “Nope, just me and my husband this year.” But in my head I’m thinking, “What the fuck? I am home.”
Which brings me to my point, home is what you make of it. I’ve heard that “home is where your heart is,” or “home is where you hang your hat,” but those are just cliches, the questions about going home for the holidays and then the PostSecret really got me thinking about what home really is to me.
I’ve lived a lot of places in my life and at one time or another they’ve all been home. There is no one place I can think of that I think of as more home like than another. Maybe it would be different if I had been raised like Les and my parents lived in the same house for 3 and a half decades, but as it is, the only person I know who’s lived in a house longer than 20 years is my grandmother, and despite having lived in her house more than once, I have no special attachment to her house.
Maybe it’s just not in my nature to be attached to a certain place. I’ve liked and disliked things about all the places I’ve lived (except one that has absolutely no redeeming qualities *cough* Vernal *cough*) but I’ve never been so in love with a place that I didn’t want to leave it when the time came. There are people that I wish I could still talk to and places that I occasionally get the urge to visit (*cough* Wegmans *cough*), but I never find myself actually missing anywhere.
I learned as a child not to get too attached because we never stayed anywhere very long, so I could choose to see this as a sad thing about how I don’t get attached because I know I’ll be moving on soon. But instead I see it as being happy where I am and making the best of what I have.
And then there is the holidays part. I’ve never liked Christmas, in fact I usually hate it, but on a broader scale I don’t really like the idea of holidays in general. Why should we set aside only a few days a year to be thankful or giving or romantic? I’ve never liked that idea, and to top it off they’re always stressful. Why should I go to see family when every other person in the damn country is trying to do the same thing? That is only going to lead to problems and stress and resentment. Why not go on my own time when it’s convenient for me and no one is going to be fighting me for the days off?
For Thanksgiving, Les and I went to the beach after I got off work (it was empty except for us) and watched the sunset. It was wonderful not to have any obligations or stress on a holiday that has been a source of familial tension since the time of the pilgrims. We liked it so much we tried it again for Christmas. We picked a spot that is slightly closer to our house and is more popular, so we weren’t as alone as we were on Thanksgiving, but it was still fantastic, and we got an even better sunset to watch.
We went to a place on Cape Arago that we’ve adopted as our own. We go to watch the waves crash on the rocks and hear the seals bark and watch for whales and birds and other sea creatures. It’s a wonderful little niche where the wind doesn’t really blow and we can just sit and be together.
So, no, I didn’t go home for the holidays. I didn’t fly during the busiest time of the year, I didn’t drive over mountain passes in the heart of winter, I didn’t have to sleep on an uncomfortable couch in an overfull house or pay for a hotel. But I did go to work (making others grateful since they could now celebrate the holiday the ways they enjoy), come home to a good (but not overly special) meal and spend some time with my husband. Not too shabby I think.