As I'm finishing up with finals and moving things out of my apartment at school I'm thinking about what it means to call somewhere "home." I've lived in the same house my whole life (twenty years) so naturally, I've always called it home. I never really expected to give the title to anywhere else. I had a dorm last year and although I made it comfortable and it was somewhere I enjoyed being, it was always just "my dorm." Over the past school year, my little apartment has emerged into something more. When I first walked in last summer to empty white walls and a kitchen with no silverware, I had no idea it would make such a big transformation. It went from this random space enclosed by walls to this cozy apartment with so many stories attached to it. The three girls I share the place with have turned into family and this two bedrooms/two baths turned into a temporary second home to us.
My parents get confused when I say I'm going home in reference to the apartment but to me, home is more of a feeling than a particular place. It doesn't have to be a single place either. Home is somewhere you can walk into and freely express what's bothering you because you know the people there will listen. It's a place you can comfortably rest your head after a long day or yell about it if you need to. In my case, it's a place where you have someone who'll join you in stress-eating a platter full of fettuccine Alfredo because you both know you'll feel guilty for finishing it alone.
For now, I have two homes as I've renewed my lease for another year and who knows, that number might grow again at some point. Home is a feeling of comfort and belonging...if you can find that in multiple locations, accept it. I'm learning that it doesn't have to be limited to the place you've lived for years and that you can also gain family through life experiences. I've been lucky enough to have such amazing roommates who make a small space feel like home.