Yesterday, Kat had a prompt about Place and wrote a beautiful piece about finding place when running. This was a prompt I had previously selected, which is of a similar ilk (and my answer, in turn, is similar).
Home: Where was ‘home’ in 2012, figuratively or literally? How will you make ‘home’ in 2013?
What does it mean to have a home? We know the places we live come in so many shapes and sizes– ours is a 1920’s bungalow, but not long ago mine was a 500 square foot apartment in a renovated boarding school. It has been apartments with roommates, studio apartments, dorm rooms with communal bathrooms, a house at the end of a cul-de-sac full of kids.
What makes those things home?
On Habitat for Humanity’s website, people wrote what home means to them.
Home is joy and greatness!
Home is where we know we are blessed.
Home is where you can be yourself. Home is where you can achieve the dreams you have set for yourself.
Home is a place to celebrate, rest, or grieve.
Home is a safe place to grow.
Home is where we recharge batteries and draw our energy.
It is clear that home is not a place, it’s a feeling.
I love our new house, and it is already beginning to feel much like a ‘home.’ But it is still new, and there are some growing pains with making a new home with someone for the first time. There are still boxes full of stuff we just don’t know what to do with. There are different approaches to food and chores and schedules. Throw in a dog that sometimes pees on the carpet, and there are times that I need to be re-centered.
I lace up an electric pair of yellow shoes, and from any starting point on the planet I can find myself at home, running.
Because running is filled with joy and greatness. Every new distance, every overcome injury, every finish line.
Running is most certainly a place where I feel most blessed— blessed to be able to run, blessed to live in a place that is safe for young women to run alone, blessed to have the time and resources to run. If I have a spiritual center, I have contemplated it, found it, disregarded it, and returned to it on a run.
Running is where I achieve the dreams I have set for myself. I have set many a new and ambitious running goal, and met each one of them. Not always in the fashion I had hoped, but I got there nonetheless. Running is the most perfect reminder that I cannot expect results from the work I did not do. A mid- to long-distance run nearly perfectly reflects how well you treated your body up to that point.
Running is the place where I celebrate, rest, and grieve. My theme song for the relationship between running and my emotional self would be:
If you’re happy and you know it, go for a run.
If you’re mad and you know it, go for a run.
If you’re sad and you know it, but you surely don’t want to show it,
If you’re nervous and you know it, go for a run.
I have definitely grieved on a run. More than once I have found myself running and bawling at the same time (which is actually difficult to do), having finally given in to an overwhelming emotion. Running gives your heart freedom to feel without your mind’s constant interruption and judgment.
Running is a safe place to grow. It is easy to stop trying to achieve new things when we leave school and become ‘real adults.’ After all, haven’t we finally attained what we had been chasing all that time? A degree, a real job, financial independence, a place of our own to live, and so on? Running is a safe place to keep learning. I learn more about running and more about myself each year. I have learned more about the relationship between how food makes our bodies feel. I have learned the most about how growth and achievement makes me feel.
Running is where I recharge my batteries and draw energy. Immediately after a run I feel
tired as all get out and ready to eat everything in sight ready to tackle anything, ready to take on the day, the world.
This is not to say that I do not feel at home in a dozen other places; nothing will ever take the place of the excitement of building a new home with Aaron or the security and safety in my parents’ home. But running is that feeling. . . the feeling that isn’t tied to any place or group of people. It is the internal sense of home that balances my external homes. It is a gentle reminder- a blessing, really- to know that home, and my ability to find it when I need, is within me.