Home is Not a Place

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Home is not a place. It is not an address or a zip code. It is not made of walls nor does it have a roof. It is not three bedrooms with two and a half baths on a one acre lot. It never has been and it never will be.”

By Desiree Adaway | Twitter: @desireeadaway

HomeIsNotAPlace001I left home when I was 16 to travel the world. And, to be completely honest, I have never really stopped.

Leaving home for the first time is a story unto itself: me, this little brown girl from the south side of Chicago, leaving her family to go off and explore the world.  That world that has not always been kind or welcoming to little brown girls.

Although I knew that where I lived was my home, too, it just never felt like my connections there were deep or meaningful. I knew that there was something more and I craved it. I was hungry in ways that I didn’t yet understand. After weeks of fighting with my parents, I finally left to explore the great unknown.

I learned many, many lessons during my time away, but here is the most profound lesson:

Home is not a place. It is not an address or a zip code. It is not made of walls nor does it have a roof. It is not three bedrooms with two and a half baths on a one acre lot.

It never has been and it never will be.

We, in the West, are taught that, as you get older, you should settle down. You need to find a place to hold your stuff. Oh, and yes, you should make sure it is in a nice neighborhood. Get settled and nest. Stay awhile.

That’s what my mom did.

That’s what her mom did.

That is exactly what I did not do.

Instead, my neighbors were ancient ruins in Mexico and Greece, the Medinas of Tangiers, and the vineyards strung along the Rhine.

I nested in the arms of people who did not look like or sound like me.  They held me and kept me safe.

Home was inside my own head and heart.

Home was really all the lessons my family and community had taught me over the years. The lessons of acceptance, kindness, joy and justice.

My home was, and will forevermore be, furnished with laughter and loving memories, friends whom I trust, new adventures and much learning.

My home travels with me. No bank can own it and no one can ever make me leave it or take it away from me.

I am currently living in the mountains of western North Carolina . This is a house.

My home lives deep in my soul.

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About Desiree:
Desiree is a consultant, strategist, coach, speaker, storyteller and explorer.  She uses her superpowers–her voice, sense of adventure and belief in the transformative power of community–to help organizations design programs that create unrestricted revenue, volunteers and advocates.

You can find out more about her at www.desireeadaway.com, or follow her on Twitter at @desireeadaway

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Desiree Adaway
Desiree is a consultant, strategist, coach, speaker, storyteller and explorer. She uses her superpowers–her voice, sense of adventure and belief in the transformative power of community–to help organizations design programs that create unrestricted revenue, volunteers and advocates. You can find out more about her at www.desireeadaway.com, or follow her on Twitter at @desireeadaway
Desiree Adaway
Desiree Adaway

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