There’s nothing quite like it: that feeling of returning home after a long trip away. The simple act of walking in the door is able to bring so much back – the turn of the knob, the squish of the doormat, the familiar scents filling your nose, they all come with a rush of memories. Home is able to settle the soul, return us to peace, and hand-deliver solace.
Oh, how home can be so missed.
In the past few months, I’ve traveled farther than I ever have before. I found myself thousands of miles away from the familiar, and while it was an experience I will not soon forget, it’s nice getting back to basics. It tested my character, it tested my resolve, and it tested just how committed to the idea of ‘me’ I really was.
This all comes from the experience of the unknown.
When one is comfortable, they feel no need to change or to evolve. They know what to expect, how to act, and what are the likely outcomes. But away from home, one is able to search themselves for truly defining attributes, not characteristic shortcuts they used every day.
The environment is new, and one is left with being them self or trying to conform to new standards. It is within this struggle that the ‘soul’ comes out in ‘soul searching,’ I think. A person grows as they work at self fashioning; they begin to crystallize habits and ideas that serve as a psychological bracer in the face of new and unknown events and challenges.
They return home is simply a another piece of the puzzle.
Here, those new habits and ideas are truly put to the test. Friends, family, and familiar places poke and prod at the new ‘you,’ wondering if these new attributes are now a part of your character, or just developed defense mechanisms for coping while you were away.
Although people will want to know you’re still you, a level of evolution may also be expected. Humans are malleable creators, for better or for worse, and experiences can help create greatness in us. The nice thing about home, though, is that even if no evolution took place, people still celebrate your arrival. The open arms of unconditional love and acceptance can always be found if you look hard enough.
And even despite the vicissitudes one may face with return, the greeting of well-known routine can often be settling in and of itself. There’s really nothing quite like home.