Home identity

I’ve written a bunch of times about how home, as a concept, can be a somewhat nebulous thing. From 2009 to 2014, I moved five times. I despised the house in Cleveland I couldn’t sell, but moved back to it for a year and a half. I grew up in Cleveland but think of Seattle as a home, living there only two years. I’m thrilled to call Central Florida home, and I still have days where I think, “Wow, I live here!”

The actual dwelling, the apartment or home, is something else. Those walls bear witness to extraordinary joy and sorrow. You begin and end most of your days in a home, whether you rent it or own it. It provides a sense of safety. As much as I’m annoyed by some of the sentimentality I see on HGTV about “forever homes” and “we brought our kids home from the hospital here,” I get it.

We’ve spent three and a half years in our current house, and now that movers have been booked and the new house is just about finished, I’m struck with a sudden wave of reality where I will no longer occupy this space. It has been a great place to live, and we’ve had great guests, parties and holidays here. I’m excited about the new house, but admit that I’ll miss the old one a little. Fortunately, as far as the people are concerned, we’re moving less than a mile away, so it’s not like we’ll lose touch with our friends there.

My home-identity curve has had some wild swings in the last decade and change. I went from feeling like I’ll never leave what I considered “home,” to about 6,000 miles worth of moving in five years, to a renewed desire to really build out a more consistent thing. I can’t possibly rule out radical change in the future, only because I’ve accepted that I just can’t predict it. I would feel pretty good about staying put for a dozen years, so let’s see how that goes.

Originally published at jeffputz.com.

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