I could begin this speech about family by using the overused phrase “Home is where the heart is.” However, this is not a speech about family, or even where my “home” happens to lie. This is a speech about family, friends, home, and the intermingling of each. I believe that one is at home when they are with those who have their heart, whether it be friends or family.
My very first memory of moving comes from when I was three years old. Me and my dad lived in an extremely small apartment in the Oklahoma City area. After he had gotten a good job, we moved to a house in a good suburb, and then kept moving around the state until I was eight years old. At eight years old we moved to Pennsylvania and lived in two hotel rooms for four months. After those four months we rented a small house in a smaller town. After that small rental we bought a big house in the same small town. Then we moved to a wealthy arizona suburb. Then to a wealthy Chicago suburb, then to a trailer park in Phoenix. Now, to our current house in Gilbert, of which we are moving out of into a bigger house at the end of the school year.
Throughout my national tour I can only describe as my life I have come to a grand realization. Through thick and thin I have never once left my home. That’s because every single time I moved, probably around 20 times, my dad has been there with me. And never once did I feel scared to leave a location or an environment, because that’s all they are when you’re alone. A place to rest, a place of which one may safely slumber.
This summer, when I leave Arizona to visit friends in Pennsylvania for half a month I won’t ever leave home. I’ll be at home that half month also because I also have family in Pennsylvania. Not related to me through blood, but through a bond sometimes stronger than blood. My friends and family, when truly close to me, are one and the same. Each serve both role when needed. Whether I need a brother as a friend or a friend as a brother, I could rely on either to help.
Wherever I go, having made so many friends so many places, I should always be at home. A roadtrip with friends is my home, at my house with my dad is my home, when I have my own apartment with all of my dogs, of which there will be many, that too will be my home. You don’t grow up somewhere, location doesn’t matter. You grow up with someone. Multiple someones, and all of these someones create your somewhere. Your home.