I never know what to say when people ask me where I live. I spend more days and nights in DC than anywhere else, but there’s a distinct expiration date on my time there. There’s also the complication of chapter visits, which frequently take me to new cities all the time. My reigning home is with my fam in my beloved Missouri, where a vast majority of my possessions live. Then there’s Indy, where I spend sporadic lengths of my time throughout the year.
So I don’t really live anywhere. As an LC, just about the time that you get comfortable is the about the time that you leave. When we get into our groove during our Indy stays, that’s when it’s time to wrap up and board our flights. When you start to get over the uncomfortable unfamiliarity of inserting yourself into a new chapter on every visit, your five days is up. Now that I’m beginning to feel like DC is a real home, it’s time to pack up and head out for good.
I hate feeling like I’m constantly in transit. A huge part of me needs a real home, but that’s not a thing with this life. At some point I realized that I could either spend the whole year feeling uncomfortable or I could figure out how to make myself feel at home on the road.
Figure out what makes home comfortable. Dig a little deeper than your initial reflexes. Sure, your family is going to be a huge influence in the way home feels, but ask yourself why your family makes you feel that way. I love being at my grandparents’ house where everyone works hard and then spends time with each other at the day’s end in the kitchen while we cook supper. Sure I love this partially because I love my grandparents and, chances are, I love whatever’s being cooked. But I also love the feeling of relaxing a little after a long day and knowing that I worked hard.
Create familiarity that you can take with you. There are a lot of pieces of home you can’t take or duplicate. But if you try, you’d be surprised at how many of them you can. It can be the way you structure your day – I try to always try to work consistently throughout the day and then relax and cook in the evenings, just like at my grandparents’ house. It could be connecting with the people you love but don’t have near you – call your mom, text your brother, make sure your best friend knows what’s happening in your life. It could also be something that you always keep with you – my Snuggle Bunny (long-time stuffed friend) is shamelessly toted along to every city I see.
Recognize when you feel funky and fix it. We all have off days, sometimes weeks. The constantly unfamiliar takes a toll because you’re never quite relaxed completely. When I feel weird, I usually have to revert back to what feels extremely comfortable for me without getting too nostalgic. Maybe a phone call with my mom, some episodes of Friends and a few solid minutes of good Snuggle Bunny hugs. All things that feel like home no matter where I am.
I know that I’ll love having a real home where me and all of my possessions can live consistently for more than a year, but I also love what my nomadic life is like now. It’s only a short part of a whole life that I’ll have to live in one place if I choose, so I’ll enjoy this by making everywhere feel a little more like home.