I had yet another of those blasted “So where were we moments?“ the other day, where more time has passed than I thought and the lives of friends and relatives have advanced significantly without me realizing.
I am pissed at myself; I wrote that post last July and now I find that time has escaped me again. How has it been so long since we last spoke? Why is this such a big blind spot for me? I thought that when I blogged about personal weaknesses they automatically fixed themselves! Someone has clearly misrepresented the power of blogging.
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News of my family has led to a few 4am wake up sessions and long stream of consciousness dialogs with Thames-river style turns through various topics. Each idea ultimately a tributary to thoughts around the concept of home.
Home: What is it?
When I travel, it’s not unusual to be asked where I live. The answer to that question is easy: Southern California.
When the question is phrased as “where’s home?” or “where are you from?”, then it gets difficult for me. Less than a second passes, yet I have this long drawn out silence inside my head as it seems to takes hours to negotiate my way the accurate response. The answer to those questions is that I am blessed to live with my wife and daughter in our home in Southern California and I was born on Long Island, New York and that’s home.
This answer comes from the fact that no matter what is going on in my life, when I am in Long Beach, New York, I am at peace.
If I let that internal dialog go on I would acknowledge that London is also a valued place in my life, both as a child and more recently as an adult. The value comes in childhood memories with my Nan, my aunts, uncles, cousins and more recently with my long-lost sister and her beautiful family who I also love and adore (even that one who steals my tea).
I converged on a personal definition of home as “That place which brings immediate relief or comfort due to the associated feelings, memories or people.”
Funny thing about that definition is that when I start from it and build out a bullet list of places that meet the definition, I come up with some interesting places:
- Anywhere with my wife and daughter
- Long Beach, New York
- My Nan’s flat in London
- Anywhere with my long-lost sister and her family
- The town of Whittier, California
- Father Duffy Square in New York
- Disembarking a plane at Heathrow’s Terminal 1
- Long Island as seen from a plane moments before landing at JFK
- The Marriott Hotel in San Jose
- The United Terminal at San Francisco airport
I intend to drill down on these places in later posts, but for now, let me leave you with a Blake Shelton video that I often watch on my ipod when I am in airports or on airplanes:
So, Where’s Home? What does it look like? Who’s there?