It’s important to find a home. I’m not referring to a domicile here, but a larger area – a city or region perhaps – somewhere in this great big world of ours that resonates with you. A place where the air, the light, smells and sounds, the energy just feels…right. Like, somehow just the place alone manages to fill you with inspiration each and every day. It’s not a sensation you can easily describe or exactly put your finger on but when you experience it you just know. And when you’re away from it, you miss it deep down to your bones. Do you know the feeling I’m talking about? Do you have a home?
It took me moving away from my home to realize that’s what it was and understand why it’s so vital to find it.
I grew up in Oregon – moved there from Washington state when I was still learning to toddle and stayed through college and a few years beyond. Until almost two years ago, I had always felt this urge to move elsewhere – no real reason why other than to experience something different. I guess secretly I was hoping to find my place in the world – up to that point, I had felt a bit lost, like something was missing. So, I packed my bags and headed south from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco, California.
The cities are comparable in their overall vibe – in general the residents hold similar beliefs, the basic way of life is laid back and informal overall. There are many unique and amazing things about the bay area, from the artistic and entrepreneurial spirit to the natural landscape and surroundings. I do so love the light here – there’s just something magical, soft, and permeating about it. The residents – mostly imports like me – are a friendly lot, helpful and eager to lend an ear or dispense advice. There is a bounty of beautiful food available all year round. Yet despite all of these remarkable attributes, I simply don’t feel at home. At the end of the day, my soul doesn’t feel moved. I don’t feel that spark of life day in and day out that provides a sustained and overflowing sense of comfort and happiness. I’m baffled as to why I’m left lacking, but…I am.
Over the course of the past two years, I’ve made several trips back to the Pacific Northwest. Each and every one of those journeys has helped to solidify the fact that for me, Oregon is home. I take off in SFO and as the plane makes its descent into PDX, I peer out the portal window and immediately feel the tears flow as I let my emotions overtake me – my heart fills with joy at the sight of the green trees, the wide river, the mountains, the city skyline. I’m not outside yet but I can feel the chill of the air, I can smell the rain. It feels alive – I feel alive. The beauty of air travel in this situation is that in the span of two hours, I am transported from my current residence to my former state, providing a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the two areas and how I feel in and about each. Every time it’s inspiration in Oregon.
Maybe this concept of home isn’t important to everyone. I’m sure there are some who don’t even give it a passing thought. But I was talking with a friend recently who said she had never felt that sense of place and that she was envious of those who had. I’m not currently residing in my home, but I am comforted knowing that I have finally discovered where home is for me. I’m the type of person who is deeply impacted by her surroundings, so I think I would feel lost if I went my entire life not having a place that provides me comfort, hope, and inspiration. I left Oregon to find that place…and I did – it’s right where I left it.