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Home. We use the word a lot, typically to describe a place that we feel comfort in. But what really is “a home”? What does it really mean?

It used to be, when we were still in school, your home was the place you lived in with your family. It was the place you ate, the place you slept, the place you spent time with your family and friends. It oozed familiarity and coziness and it was the place you knew you could always return to if something unfavorable should ever happen.

Now, as I’m growing older and have moved into a new dwelling, I am struggling with the concept of what home really is. First and foremost I think of home as the house my family still lives in because it provides all the aforementioned traits that a house is supposed to possess. But what happens if the house I move into in a couple months becomes my new home? When is that supposed to happen? Or, what happens if my mom sells the house she lives in now? Will I be homeless? Technically no, I won’t be homeless and living on the streets, but the place that I always felt so comfortable in and made amazing memories in will be gone forever.

It’s a bizarre idea because once we no longer call our homes our homes, it solidifies the notion that we are indeed growing up. And I truly cannot think of anything scarier. Since childhood we have always wanted to “grow up”, it’s a thought that was instilled in us since we were small. But nothing ever can prepare you for the growing up process. The hardest part about it is the uncertainty of it all. We have absolutely no idea what is going to happen to us tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. We take that thought for granted, but it’s true and very weird if you think about it because anything can happen. You could be hit by a bus, win the lottery, shoot to fame, or have someone close to you die.

But what is important to realize as we grow up is that home isn’t a place. It never was. It’s the feeling you have when you’re with the people you love and who love you in return. When you’re with those people, any old place can become familiar and cozy. The company we keep is the home we live in.

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