A blog post I read a while ago once again highlighted the “home” dilemma for Third Culture Kids. ExpatAlien wrote about going “home”. Significant to me were the quotes that framed the word.
She didn’t say “I’m going home“ she said “I’m going ‘home’“.
The reality is that home is often in quotes–it’s the way we can emphasize the ambiguity we have when it comes to calling places home. We can’t put it in quotes when we speak, but when we write? When we write the word we can use quotes to silently communicate a million thoughts and feelings.
It’s a fascinating and effective tool. It speaks what we can’t say; it emphasizes what we feel deeply, but can’t always articulate.
It is home in quotes.
Much has been written about “home” for the TCK; this is a central theme of both our journey and longing. In July I wrote a post called “Where the Story Begins” and opened it up to people to share stories of ‘home’. Outasiteoutamind shared that she wrote an essay years ago called “Home is Where I Feed My Cat”. Robynn said “Home is where the story ends” bringing attention to the end goal and recognizing that she is simply a sojourner on earth, here for a short time.
Perhaps it’s because I’m frustrated with my neighbors, perhaps it’s my government issued grey cubicle, but as the New Year begins home in quotes is coming up again. I am facing the restlessness that is so familiar, the longing that leads me to an airplane and suitcase (or at least to a travel website).
I don’t want to contemplate, analyze or philosophize. I want to open it up to you – what is home to you?
Whether you are a third culture kid or someone who has stayed in the same place most of your life, you have a concept, a definition of home. What is “home”? Do you put home in quotation marks? Use your own definition or borrow from another, but share it in the comments section. Definitions have a way of providing clarity, and clarity can heal.
What, then, is “Home”?