So today, I'm going to write about "home," although I really don't know what that is for me. The ideas started coming as I was sitting at "home" in our townhouse in Hunker, watching Hot Listings Miami. Every time they showed a shot of the beach or palm trees, my stomach did a flip. Then, they showed a house in Delray Beach, my favorite place in Florida, about 20 minutes away from where we lived. Granted, I am a little over emotional, but I got a little misty thinking about how I would give anything to go home.
Technically, Syracuse, NY should be home. I guess in a way it is. It is my hometown and the place I spent the first 18 years of my life. While I had an amazing childhood, I always knew I had to get out of Syracuse. It didn't feel right, and it wasn't me. Even when I moved back to Syracuse for a year before Florida, I was opening an account at Chase Bank and when I gave him my address he said "really? You don't seem like you're from Syracuse." I'm still not exactly sure what he meant by that, but I knew I agreed completely.
When it came time to go to college and almost every single one of my friends stayed local and went to Rochester (about an hour and a half away, where Dom went!), I peaced out and headed alone to Washington, D.C. To this day I still love coming to Syracuse (or Fayetteville, if we're getting technical) for holidays and visits and it always feels good to come back to see everyone, but I really feel no connection to the place. It might be my hometown, and my parent's house is definitely home, but the city? Not so much.
Then, there's D.C. The first place I lived on my own, and the place where I really grew up. Whenever I drove into the city after being away, I saw the monuments and always felt a sense of peace, that this was home. This was my city. Over the 4 years I came and went for summers and holidays and some weekends away, but I always felt content when I got back to D.C., where I belonged. If I could afford it I probably never would have left! Still, two years later, whenever someone says they're headed to D.C. my stomach flips and I get jealous they're visiting my turf. My home.
People say that home is where the heart is. So, in a way Hunker is my home, since it's where I live with Dom. On the flip side, neither Dom nor I feel like our hearts are here. It's only been a few weeks so that could change, but home for both of us, deep down, is West Palm. When people ask us where we are from, we automatically say West Palm, the thought to say Syracuse or Glens Falls doesn't cross our minds. We even joked that for holidays if our families want to see us, they can meet us down there!
So how can we consider a place we lived for less than a year home?
I think it's because we finally found a place that is us. I feel like "me" when I'm in South Florida. I love that everything is beautiful. The buildings are bright, cream, clean and surrounded by palm trees. Even on the stormiest of days, everything is beautiful. The people there are different. It's hard to be in a bad mood when the sun is shining constantly. People are on island time, and everything feels a little more like a vacation. We might be broke students, but we love that we can drive down to Palm Beach and go tour the yachts. We love that all year round we can go eat outside at a restaurant and watch the ocean. I love that when I wear Lilly I get stopped by other people wearing Lilly to talk about our shared love of living a colorful life.
So maybe home really is where the heart is. I left part of my heart in the house where I grew up, part in D.C., where I really grew up, and most of it in the place where I found myself.