Everywhere is Home

Home is where my heart is.


It was a hot July afternoon. My sister and I were walking through the busy streets of New York City, making our way to the Museum of Modern Art. Though my sister had been to every museum in New York City at least twice, I had never been inside the MoMA. “You'll love it!” she told me as we turned onto Museum Mile. “There's an entire Salvador Dali exhibit up. Do you know him? I think you'd like him,” she said as we entered the lobby of the MoMA. The museum was already crowded, though it was ten minutes before opening. After paying for my ticket, I made my way to the gallery of American painters, turned each corner, glanced at each painting, and read each blurb.


My sister and I separated and, after a series of rights and lefts, I found her, staring at a single painting pushed up against a corner. It was entitled Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth. At first I was puzzled as to why my sister was so entranced by this simplistic painting. There was nothing alluring in the orange-gray field. Not even the sky had the ability to sustain life. In the field I noticed a girl wearing a pink dress—a single girl sitting with her back towards to us. A house stood in the not-so-far distance, and the girl appeared to be crawling towards it, with a single arm outstretched, struggling. “Look at how she struggles for home. Look at how she's longing to reach it, and how close she is, yet how far away it still is,” my sister said. “It's like every person's perpetual longing to reach home.”



I had not given much thought to the concept of home, and would not until later that summer. I was on the computer researching the backgrounds of American painters, and I stumbled upon Christina's World on an art history website. “What is home?” I asked myself while watching the girl's struggle once again. “Where is Christina's home? Why is she struggling for it?” I wondered. I could have asked everyone in the world to define “home” but few people would be able to give me a concrete answer. I thought about how I would define “home” if asked, but my thoughts would not coalesce. Home was an abstraction to me, born of the many books and movies of my childhood. I could only imagine a two-story house with an acre-wide backyard, breakfast made by my mother every morning, and nights spent watching movies with my father—things which were not of my own home, but were illusions of a home I wish I had.


I grew up listening to the adage, “Home is where the heart is.” Only now, as a seventeen-year-old, do I understand what it means. In everything I do, whether it is writing a poem, choreographing a dance, or giving a friend advice, I try to put all of my heart into it. I try to give no less than my best effort. Investing a piece of my heart into every person I talk to and into every piece of art I create helps me feel at home. I feel as if my home is everywhere because I leave a part of myself with every person I talk to, every place I go, and everything I do. I never feel homeless because every day gives me an opportunity to create, and every day offers me a chance to communicate. Home is no longer a fantasy of stereotypical family scenes but a more genuine reality to me, one built on the foundation of creation and bolstered by passion.


Some days I feel as vulnerable and reluctant as Christina must have felt as she crawled to her house, fighting the wind that bludgeoned her hair into her face. Sometimes I feel lost without a single, stable home that I can always go to for protection. I counter this vulnerable feeling by remembering what my home is: the culmination of relationships and efforts that each hold a part of my heart. Like Christina, I have the wonderful ability to see home from a unique angle—from the foundation to its rooftop—its conception to its creation. Because I have struggled to understand the true meaning of “home” for so long, I appreciate what it is for me now and realize how truly ubiquitous it is.

I can never be homeless—everywhere is home.





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