Monday, October 11, 2010

How long does it take to establish a "home?"

I've been struggling with concepts of "home" lately.  I've been here in Colorado since late June and I've been in my house for a little over a month or so.  I've been working (or in training/in-services) since early July.  DH is here, our stuff is largely unpacked, but I don't feel like I'm home yet.  When I got on my return flight from Maine this weekend, I didn't feel like I was going home.

North Carolina was different.  When I got into North Carolina, we already had a home.  All of our household goods came with me (and the movers), and I spent the majority of my summer setting up house so he would have a put-together home to come back to for his R&R.  I remember seeing my vanity in our bedroom, all put together with all of my trinkets - that's when I knew I was home, that I wouldn't be going back to California - seeing all of my stuff in that house.

When I started thinking about all of this, I began to feel displaced in general.  I was born and raised in California, but there's really no "home" to return to.  My childhood home has long since been sold (to a teacher of my former high school, no less) and the house my dad currently owns is one I've never lived in, only visited.  A lot died along with my mom, and I think my sense of home was one of them, which wasn't really fair to my dad at the time.  I remember a tense moment with him over a birthday, when I assuming that all of those things that make a birthday special wouldn't be happening now that she was gone.  I love visiting my old stomping grounds in California, but when I go back it's to visit my dad - I'm not going home.

The odd thing about conceiving of Colorado as home is that I've always wanted to live here, ever since I was a young child.  We spent many of our family vacations visiting my aunt and uncle and seeing all of the sights throughout the state.  I have family here already, both family members that I'm close with and extended family that I don't see too often.  I have Trinnie, my best friend.  I have a great support network and I'm meeting some wonderful people through work.  But I still don't feel like I'm home yet.  I wonder if this familiarity is actually working against me and my quest to find home.  Am I just on an extended, working vacation?  When will I wake up and realize that I'm not on vacation, that I'm home and I'm not going anywhere?

In having a heart to heart with Trinnie, she indicated that she thought my issue might stem from the fact that DH and I don't have a set schedule/routine at this point.  Maybe it will make a difference, once he has a job/career, and goes and does his thing each day.  I hope that's the case, I really do.  At times I feel like I'm existing, I'm not living out here, and I (rightly or wrongly) attribute it to not having any money right now.  I feel limited in what we can do and where we can go because of our funds.  I have finally started reaching out to involve myself with groups and non-profit organizations, such as finding a new Motherless Daughters group and signing up to volunteer for Homes For Our Troops.  I need to get back into the local PGR crowd, not to mention prepare for Wreaths Across America and Snowball Express.  I'm hoping that this involvement will help me feel more settled. 

I don't want to just exist here, I want to belong, I want to be home.

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