Coming Home
April 23, 2012 by
Categories: Relationships

It’s funny how “home” can mean so many things.  It seems like most of the time we think of home as the house, apartment, shack, etc. we go to at the end of the day and the physical structure we claim as our base.  I think for me, I use that kind of language to describe my apartment or the city I live in: “Well guys, I think I’m gonna head home for the night” or “I’m so tired.  I can’t wait to go home!”  But really, when I really think about it, the word “home” means so much more.

To me (and maybe you can identify with this), home is my safe place.  Home is my place to escape for rest and recharging, a place where I can let down my hair and be myself.  While home often signifies a location, like “I’m from Kentucky,” the idea of home also puts these mental pictures in my head of people.  And these people are accompanied by feelings.  These people and these feelings are familiar and warm and safe.  What I’m trying to say is that these people are my home.  When I think of it that way, I begin to consider that I might just be richer than Oprah.  Oprah might have a mansion here and another couple over there, but when I think of all my homes, I realize that I have a home in Kentucky, in Oklahoma, in North Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Costa Rica, and probably over most continents.  Most of my immediate family lives in Oklahoma, some of my best friends are right here in Kentucky, and then there are those other friends all over the world that I somehow am blessed to meet.

I call this "Hugged by Nature." This is one of my reflection spots from this weekend. It captures the intense peace I felt from "coming home."

I just quite literally got back from a trip to North Carolina where I attended the annual Association for Experiential Education (AEE) Southeast Regional Conference.  It’s funny to think that I can go to a place like Hendersonville, North Carolina–a place I have never been before–and feel like I just arrived at home because of the people that are there.  I have to tell you about these people.  Just a few words to describe them: fun, energetic, full of life, adventurous, laid-back, creative, curious, deep, young at heart, conscientious, funny, balanced, authentic, genuine, respectful, confident, assertive, loving, supportive, inspired.  These are just a few of the words that I can use to describe them.  These people and these qualities are what I become surrounded by when I attend these conferences and also how I end up feeling.  Over just the span of a weekend, we go from not knowing each other’s names to needing to hug each other every time we see each other.  There ends up being this inevitable, rich connection.  It’s like our spirits so easily and deeply resonate with each other and we can’t help but feel so excited and energized when around one another.

They are my people.

Whether it’s the usual group to arrive that attends every AEE conference every year or a new batch of conference goers, they are my people and will always be my people.

Remember what I said about metaphors in my first post?  Remember what I said about “letting my hair down” a few thoughts ago?  Ok, so sometimes metaphors are completely obvious and literal.  Just yesterday, we had some down time in between the keynote speaker and the contra dance.  I went back to my bunkhouse to change my shirt and freshen up (not that it lasted too long after 10 minutes of dancing and spinning).  Normally, I’m the kind of girl to wear my hair in a side braid as a way to spend as little time as possible on doing my hair but still trying to look somewhat put together.  I had a side-braid going on yesterday and let it down as I was freshening up.  Looking in the mirror I realized that not only did it feel so relaxing and freeing to have my hair loose but my hair happened to look half-way decent.  Normally, I would consider keeping this half-way decent look down but then let my insecurity braid my hair right back up.  Yesterday was different though.  Yesterday, in that moment, in that place, I felt safe.  I felt comfortable.  I felt relaxed.  I felt like I could just be me and it was okay.  I felt like I could both literally and figuratively let my hair down and just be me.  My decision to keep my loose, wavy hair down showed me in that moment just how much at home I felt and just how much that sense of home is important to how I feel and how I thrive.

I ended up walking to the dance and gathering with my friends for an unforgettable night of ridiculous dancing and uncontrollable laughter.  I can’t remember the last time I truly let my body let loose into God knows what kind of dance moves.  Going further, I can’t remember the last time I was able to dance without feeling anxiety, insecurity, and self-judgement.

It feels so fulfilling, exciting, and peaceful to feel at home.  I am so thankful to have a place where I can take a deep breath, relax, get out of my head, and have fun being myself.

Where is your home?  Who is your home?  What about those people allows you to let your hair down and celebrate you for who you are?

Let this video inspire and celebrate you and your people —->“Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

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3 Thoughts About Coming Home

  • Daddio Dude
    April 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm Reply

    ……Wow….to be able to go through that same door (to “home”) at any time …. is powerful !!! PS: Ole E. Sharpe is Pandora station that often wakes-up my Monday at work. NICE!

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