What do you consider home? What makes a place home for you?
I find myself asking these questions as I begin to settle into my new home. I am used to moving every 2-4 years and have called each place my home. I have always wondered why I was able to make a new city and state a place of comfort for me.
As a child, I moved around quite a bit, from my birth place of Atlanta, GA to brief stints in Providence, RI and Rochester, NY. My final landing place was Raleigh, North Carolina. I call it one of my homes because of the amount of time and childhood memories that remain there. Rhode Island and Rochester are a bit hazy in my mind, but places that I would recognize immediately if I were to visit them.
Making unknown surroundings a place of comfort for me stems from embracing each new experience, no matter the challenges. As a child, it was never easy to start over and make new friends but I had to push myself to do so. Once one connection was made, the rest fell into place and there was no looking back. As I remember those adventures, I see how they have shaped my love of change and desire to throw myself into new experiences. Stepping out of my comfort zone was the key to understanding how impactful and wonderful change can be.
Reflecting on my history of moving around, enjoying exploration and change, and settling into a completely unknown place, has allowed my definition of home to evolve. I view it as a place that I am able to make my own. I mix together old and new pieces to live in this space with me. Home is a place that I look forward to returning to after a long day of work, shooting, or hanging out with friends. Home is where my mind, body, and spirit can completely relax to release the energy from the day.
Making a space feel like home can be quite the chore but once each piece of artwork is on the wall, lamp on the perfect end table, and layout of each room comes together, you begin to feel complete again. You no longer focus on acclimating to your new surroundings because you have found the space that grounds you, nurtures you, and lets you be your authentic self. No judgments or outside opinions can permeate your space.
As we all being to transform and start anew this year, we must always remember to nurture our home space. Whatever we may experience in the coming months, our homes are where our restart button lies.