What does life look like post graduation from graduate school? I am about to find out!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"There's No Place Like Home" . . . well, maybe??

You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your stuff, that idea of home is gone. It just sort of happens one day and it's gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It's like you feel homesick for a place that doesn't even exist. Maybe it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I don't know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.
- Garden State
They say home is where the heart is. If the exception proves the rule, I guess that's true.
- Dixie Chicks
I want to preface this blog post by stating that some of what I am going to say here might be construed as insulting or offensive by some people. Please know that I do not intend anything I post here to be harmful or mean-spirited in any way toward anybody. However, I made a promise that when I started this blog, I would be completely honest about my feelings and such on it. I refuse to compromise or otherwise be anything other than completely myself on here. This blog is meant to be a catharsis for me so I need to be completely myself on here for that reason. If you find anything I say on here hurtful or insulting or offensive in any way, please know that it is not meant to be taken that way. That being said, we now return you to our regularly scheduled blog post.
I wanted to take some time now to talk about the concept of home. What does that word even mean? Home. It's a word that is full of meaning but also ambiguity. For many people, home is where their family lives. But that's not the entire definition of the word, is it? After all, what about people who don't have any family or who hate their family or are estranged from their family? What do they consider home? Is it where they live now? Is the entire concept of home a myth that we've created to make us feel better about ourselves?
All of this is to say that for me, home is a word full of contradictions. While Texas will always be a part of me in some way, I have to be honest and admit that it really doesn't feel like home anymore. It hasn't for a very long time, actually. Even through college, Texas started to feel less and less like home. I just personally don't feel that deep sense of connection to my home state (or hometown) anymore. While I want to quickly emphasize here that I do deeply miss my family and friends there, there's really nothing left for me back in Texas. I think I've gotten out of it everything I could. There's really no further growth I could do there. In fact, in many ways, moving back there would be a mistake because I could potentially start to regress and lose all the progress I have made. Moving away from "home" (as it were) was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make but looking back on it, it was also a necessity. I needed to branch out and get outside my comfort zone. That's the biggest thing that Texas represents to me right now, safety and convenience. Those are both great things and I am not trying to under-emphasize them but for myself I need to be out of that environment because it doesn't allow room for growth and change. Life isn't about being safe or convenient. Life involves risk and taking chances and not knowing what the next adventure will bring but doing it anyway.
I've already posted on here about my past and the abuse and hurt I suffered for so many years. Texas, for me, will always represent that in some ways. It's hard for me to think of the place and not be confronted with those painful memories that I would rather not think about. Plus, I don't think it's any great secret that I don't exactly share the views or opinion of a lot of the people in that state. Let's be completely honest here and just state for the record that Texas has become downright hateful and discriminatory toward so many others. I don't really want to live in that environment anymore, quite frankly. I realize there are many there who would disagree with those statements and I am also aware that not everybody feels that way. However, you definitely won't find me in the pro-Texas camp. Of course, I realize that by openly bashing the great state of Texas, I am probably going to get lots of hate mail, death threats and probably even a few angry villagers with pitchforks! I don't hate Texas, let me just emphasize that right here and right now. I just have realized that for me, it was not the best place for me to live and so while it may be "home", it's not really "home". It's a place where I keep a lot of my stuff and where many people that I care deeply about are. However, for myself, that's all it is anymore. There's nothing else the state can do for me at this point in time.
So, what exactly does all this rambling mean as it relates to me? Well, since Chicago doesn't feel like home and probably won't be since I will be leaving it in a few months, it means that I am essentially a displaced citizen ie without a home to belong to. Maybe that's how I should feel at this point in my life. Maybe I won't really find a home again until I settle down somewhere and possibly have a family. Maybe God will make that place Texas as some sort of colossal joke (He does like to do those kinds of things to me)!! Maybe I'm just meant to be a wandering drifter never really settling down or finding a home somewhere. I'm actually ok with that idea, by the way. I don't by any means feel bad about this fact. It just gives me an exciting opportunity to re-discover home and what it is. Until then, I guess I shall be a wandering drifter, just passing through in search of a mythical place called "Home".


  1. Tad,

    I love this post! I find myself in a similar situation. I've been able to go home 3 times this year (2 of those times for just less than a day), and each time, it felt less and less like home. I love Dallas and what it has given me growing up, but I'm seeing more and more that it does not offer me a home anymore. I'm planning on staying in New Orleans a second year, and when I go back to Dallas in during Aug And Sept, I will be packing up all of my stuff and taking 'home' on the road with me. I will literally be a nomad.

    But isn't that the exciting part of life? We are able to break out of our norms and make our own path. And, Tadd, please know that you do not go alone. You have people who love you and will always be there when the nomad road gets a little lonely. Not to be cliche or anything, but "Just call on me, brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on!" (I hope that gets stuck in your head the rest of the day)

    Love you, brother!!

  2. Tad,

    Just wanted to let you know that you are in my heart and prayers! I have found that during this year, the times I am most 'home' here in India are the times I am at peace, peace with myself and the situations at hand. While home might be something in question right now, maybe thinking of your home as a place of peace can re-frame the idea for you.

    Keep being you!