It’s Saturday night, and we forgot the Tito’s. I cancel the Uber and grab my keys and my roommate, Jeana. We head to Tip Top on McLean, our trusty liquor store that always charges a few dollars extra, but it’s close and feels a little like ours from the time and few extra dollars we always spend there. We walk in and out with a purpose. We stop at Walgreens for Sprite and pretzels. We play Santana and show up late.
I don’t know why, but that routine from college, it feels like home. It was the first home I had after leaving my parents’ home for the first time. During the four years it took to create that home, with the friends who made that possible, I fell in love with how simple it was to get the feeling of home. What I didn’t realize was how complicated it was about to be.
Home is people and place, time, emotion and space. It is a spectrum of definitions. It’s something we search for, especially while we’re young, while trying to be fearless, and sometimes lost. In a moment of feeling fearless about graduating, I decided to move to Scotland, where I was born. It seemed so simple. There were people I knew, a place I loved. I didn’t know what else to do at the time, and it was a space I was connected to. It also had deep-fried Mars bars, which, if you have never had a deep- fried Mars bar, I 10/10 would recommend.
As much as I tried and hoped and pleaded with myself, it never gave me the same feeling my previous Memphis home had. I dove into the worst homesickness of my life so far and was stuck in that homesickness for the six months that I was there. It didn’t mean I didn’t love the family I was surrounded with or feel a connection to Scotland. That love was and is truly there, but it somehow didn’t make Scotland home, and that scared me into stagnation. I couldn’t make any decisions about where I wanted my life to go.
In this stagnant space, I came to realize how rare it is for people and place, time, emotion and space to line up all together and at once, to feel like home. I’d done it once with college and assumed it was easy to do again. It was not, especially when you’re living a life of constant change, chasing dreams and goals, as many of us are. At the risk of sounding cliché, Scotland wasn’t lining up to be home, because it was missing one key feature, my friends. It was missing the people I had carefully curated, for the first time on my own, who made time, place emotion, and space line up together. I realized that in this amount of change, in the moment of being thrust out of the world of college, I wasn’t ready to leave that home and create something new, to a create another home. So, I came home, again.
It was a Saturday night when I got back to Memphis. I showed up late and sat around my friends, the people I chose and who chose me during those four years. It was only for the weekend, but it brought movement back into me, back into my life. I was ready to be young, fearless and lost again.
The importance of these homes we create as people young, fearless and lost, can become easily muddled in the depths of constant change. Sometimes, we’re not ready to make home again, and that’s ok. Sometimes, in order to keep going, keep chasing dreams and goals, we even need to go back home again.