I recently finished an amazing program in Southern California with a group of about 80 people who became family to me.. but I’ll talk about it some other time.
At the beginning of the program, we all wore name tags that also disclosed our hometowns. Those hometowns became a good conversation starters because none of them were really where we were from. In my case, I just didn’t know if what I had written on my name tag was really home. Yes, I have my home where my family is, but I didn’t know where home is for me in terms of location. Whenever people asked me where I am from, it was followed by a short explanation of my life story after which I felt conceited and as if I just monopolized the conversation for about 5 minutes straight.
I made two major moves in my life: born and raised in Israel, spent 5 years or so and grew up a lot in the DC suburbs, and then started school in NC. I feel that all those places shaped me to be who I am today, but I can’t say how much.. it goes back to that idea we are today an accumulation of our past selves. One could say that it’s a time issue: the more time you spent somewhere, the more it affects you. But I don’t feel that way, I feel closer to DC rather than Israel, and NC definitely holds a dear place in my heart. Throughout the program, I was constantly mulling about this piece of identity I can’t seem to stitch together.. and it seemed to me as if I am a nomad, especially since I don’t know where I’ll be in about six months from now.
And then came the epiphany.
I don’t need this label, and it’s just fine to tell people your life story because it is who you are.
Home is truly where your people are. I have a piece of home in Israel at my grandparents apartment, a home where my family is in DC, home in NC. I have a home near Chicago where my best friend lives (and who I am seeing soon, and I cannot wait!), I have a home now in LA where my closest cousin lives.. and even smaller ones scattered across the world where my favorite people are.
I hate clichés and cheesiness, but I find the written above true for me now. I think it’s a part of figuring yourself out in your twenties.