Home is where you can be yourself. Thinking about different situations really drives this point home. For instance, sliding over home plate, running the home-stretch, and going home for the holidays all contain some feeling of relief from the stresses previously felt. When you reach whatever is acting as your home, the pressure is off to play the role society has spelled out for you or to accomplish the goal you set out to do.
Baseball, as previously noted, paints the perfect picture of the meaning of home. When a player is up to bat, thousands of thoughts race around in his mind. He must think about how he positions himself, where the outfielders are placed, where the pitcher will throw the ball, and so much more. The pressure is on and the fans, coaches, and teammates all expect him to put out a favorable outcome. One can imagine the stress these circumstances create. However, once that player crosses home plate, the pressure is off and he has accomplished his goal. He’s relieved.
For me, home has always been a place where I’ve been comfortable. Being home means that I am either done with my day, taking a break, or resting for the next day. At home, I have always been surrounded by those who know me best and, for the most part, do not judge me. The welcome who I am, whether it’s my home in Minnesota with my family or my apartment in Madison with my friends. The stresses of society do not reach me here.
Currently, I am calling my apartment in Florence home. I still believe that my “home” is in Minnesota, but when I think about my days for the last two or so months, I realize that I have made Florence my home. Not only do I sleep, shower, and eat breakfast here, I also feel comfortable and myself. I feel at home.
This wasn’t the case when I first moved to Florence for the semester. I was constantly thinking about what my other roommates, who were strangers at the time, would think if I took too long of a shower or took up too much room in the fridge. “Would they think that I’m high maintenance, rude, or weird?” I am not normally a person who is preoccupied with thinking about how others think about her. However, I knew there was a lot riding on these relationships. I mean, I was going to live with these girls for the whole semester. It’s funny to think about now because I remember this feeling only lasting for about a week and a half. After a week, we were used to everyone’s behaviors. I think having a respect and understanding of one another’s lifestyles helps create that feeling of comfortableness or relief of home.
Some of the ways I “am myself” are very small. For example, wearing my glasses or eating nutella out of the jar. Wearing glasses, you might think sounds absurd. However, most people never see me in glasses and it’s probably because for one, I look like this and two, because I really do not have any peripheral vision when wearing them so I only wear them at home. Eating nutella is self-explanatory, it’s not a social norm to eat a spread out of the jar in public, but it always is in my house.
After leaving my home in Florence for a week over spring break, I returned with a feeling that I was returning home. I came back, unpacked my suitcase, and returned to my daily routines. I felt comfortable and familiar being in the place I had left for a week. I knew where everything was in the apartment and had a set schedule. The familiarity and the comfortableness created the sense of home. I wasn’t expected to do anything upon arrival, I could simply just be. That’s what I think everyone should be able to feel in there home, like themselves and relieved.
Roommates doing what they have to in order to feel at home.