A Home is (not) Where the Heart is

I’ve always wondered if the location of our homes impacted the type of person we are. I did a little soul searching this weekend to determine my opinion on this matter.
When I was 8, I moved to Tokyo. When I was 14, I moved to Georgia. I’m now 17, still in Georgia and about to graduate from high school. In Tokyo, I was exposed to a lifestyle all too unfamiliar to me. I was lost in a world of deep regret - I hated my parents for moving us so far away from our family. Of course, I didn’t know the definition of a “home,” so the word “home” never entered my vocabulary. I didn’t live in the moment while in Tokyo. Don’t ask my why -
I’m shattered when I think about the life I could have had versus the life I did have there. Some of my most fondest memories reside in Tokyo. That was the past, this is now. When I had heard we were moving back to this idea called “America,” my mind began to ponder my new lifestyle. I wanted your typical American lifestyle - white picket fences, the most loyal friends you could ask for, a car that says “look at me now - ridin’ high,” a delightful education, and so on. Did I get any of that? Sure, I got the idea implanted into my mind, but nothing ever came true. I now live in a neighborhood of townhouses. The youngest person in my neighborhood is probably, well, me. The rest are far past retirement, about ready to take a dirt nap. (Okay, so maybe that’s exaggerating just a little bit). Don’t mistake what I’m saying to be I don’t like older people. I actually rather enjoy their company.
I live in a place where the idea of Southern hospitality is useless. I don’t think I’m sad with my life here. I’m simply unfulfilled. I don’t have many friends - actually, I have about two. I became involved in every which activity I could think of when I moved here to avoid making friends.
Now, I sit here, with few friends in a neighborhood simply too over the hill for me. Georgia, the location of my so-called “home” molded me into the person I am now. If I had never moved here, I’d probably be a drunken teenager living in Japan with no goals, low self-esteem and little on my “to-do” list. Does that mean I’m happy I’m in Georgia? Well, of course I’m happy to be here. Maybe not as happy as those kids down the street, but knowing I could have lived another lifestyle somewhere else around the world still lingers in my mind.
I like being me - but I don’t like knowing I’m holding myself back. A good friend once told me nothing.
My parents are supporting of the choices I’ve made while living here - and some of them seem completely endless to me. Working in two hospitals, having two jobs, creating a school club and so on. But would I call Georgia my “home?” Probably not. What exactly does it mean to have a home? My dad preaches to me that a home is where ever a person is living at that moment. When he was growing up, the Philippines became his home. When he moved to Tokyo, Tokyo became his home. When he flocked away to Virginia, Virginia became his home.
When I go away to college, will that become my home? I’d like to this so, but I have my doubts. “A home is where the heart is,” they say. My heart is inside my body, intertwined between my blood vessels and lungs. Is my home deep inside my own...heart?





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