The Map to Home

Maya Angelou said, “The ache of home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned”. It is inevitable that, in life, everyone goes through trials and uncertain times, that often leaves us feeling stranded. When this happens, we try to find our way to a place of comfort and stability. In most cases, this is a person. This idea is known as home, and sometimes it may seem out of reach or nonexistent, because we don’t know what we call home ourselves until we don’t have it anymore. 

Sometimes, the first step to know what home is, being homeless. We need to truly be isolated and in a challenging situation. This will initiate a need and desire to find what our home is. “When the world around [you melts] away, when [you stand] alone like a star in the heavens, [you are] overwhelmed by a feeling of icy despair, [you are] more firmly [yourself] than ever” (Siddhartha). I also believe that in order to find your home, you need to find yourself first. When you are put in a situation by yourself where you are isolated, it gives you a chance to think and discover new things about yourself that you couldn’t have with someone holding your hand. This is especially important when you’re a teenager in high school trying to discover yourself and who your friends are and what you want to call home. When you’re isolated and “homeless” it gives you the chance to really find where you belong.

So, what do you do now that you’re homeless? You don’t wallow in your self pity, but instead start looking. In most cases, people find where they belong in the weirdest places. And, sometimes you “[find] friends in the strangest places” (Seven Samurai). For example, this past summer, I moved across the country from a small town in Pennsylvania to California. This put me in an uncomfortable situation because I was put in a new place where I knew no one. I often felt alone and like I would never find where I feel like I belong and comfortable. However, instead of wallowing in my own self pity, I started to go out and meet people. Because of this, I met so many interesting people that are now some of my closest friends that I have ever had. If I never moved to California and into this uncertain situation, I would have never been able to meet my life long friends, which I call home.

So why is finding home so important? Why would I take the time to write about it? Why would someone take the time to read about it?  Because “love is the most important thing in the world” (Siddhartha). Without love, there is no point in life. You will never make the human connections needed to survive and grow as a person. Loving others will lead to not only their happiness, but yours as well. And by finding the people you love, you find home. So when someone asks what home is, you can know that it is the people who make you feel loved and like you belong.

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