In the Oxford English Dictionary, the word home has 26 different definitions, not including another 22 uses in phrases such as at home, come home, hit home, and set up home. Its roots lie in the Old English hām, of Germanic origin; it is related to the Dutch heem and the German Heim.
The first definition listed reads as follows:
home (noun): the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
I have lived in eighteen places in my 26 years of life: in the last four years alone, I’ve moved nine times. “Permanent” is not a word I associate with any house I’ve lived in, so that definition doesn’t quite fit. Moving down the list, most entries contain the words permanent, settled, or long-term.
Not until the sixth entry do I find something to which I can relate:
home (noun; informal): a place where an object is kept.
This doesn’t depend on longevity, only on placement. The object has little power over where it is kept; there are external forces responsible for its placement.
That’s me: being placed somewhere by external forces and, eventually, by my own choices.
The point where childhood ends and adulthood begins is the point where we choose where we are placed, where we live, where we call home.
This blog is an opportunity to join me on this journey. Thanks for being here.
Click below to check out various interviews, essays, personal stories and relevant research.