This past Monday evening, I had the pleasure to attend the Broadway musical In The Heights (winner of the 2008 Tony for Best Musical) in New York City. It has some great music, but the story itself got me thinking again about home, a topic I discussed in the fall of 2007 on another blog post: home IS where the heart is. In that post, I discussed how as I travel around, I take people with me in my heart, always bringing “home” along for the ride.
In The Heights got me thinking a bit more about how much that fact is or isn’t true. I may get the love from many places, but what location feels like home? In In The Heights, the main character’s parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic, which he feels to be his homeland and wishes to return, but really he, along with many of the characters, are in a struggle to reconcile the lands they or their predecessors came from with their attachment and feeling of “home” in the Washington Heights community of NYC they have become a part of.
Jumping around from place to place the last 2 1/2 years, never staying for more than about six months in one place (often less), it’s been a long time since I’ve felt any location or community as a true “home,” at least in the ways In The Heights creates such a feeling. Thus, I am taken back to the place I grew up, NW Ohio, and the place I went to school and spent two years following, Chicago(land). When you’re in a place that long, you develop a lot of connections not only to people but to the location and livelihood involved. Thus, attending this musical got me thinking deeply about returning to my “homeland,” one of those two places.
However, it also reaffirmed another commitment within myself in this job search, and that is making a commitment to whatever community it is I find myself in next. It’s been too long since I’ve really been able to commit to a location, but that’s one thing I’m thirsting for as I seek my next job. At one interview, I was asked where I saw myself in 3 years, and I said I saw myself doing whatever it was I ended up doing next (in that case, that specific job). I see my next step as a longer term commitment than I’ve made for a quite a while. I want to connect with a place again, something I’ve only tangentially done the past 2 or 3 years.
So while I have two settings that, deep down, feel like “home” to me (along now with multiple houses/residences), I think there is room for more. While I think there would be some comfort to returning to Ohio or Chicago, I also believe that embarking on a new adventure in a new city/location has the ability to create a new “home” for me, wherever that might be.
I’ll just be waiting expectantly (the topic of my next blog) to find out exactly where that might be!