“I don’t know where home is, and the doors wide open”


“I don’t know where home is, and the doors wide open” -Mt. Joy. 

The name of a street scribbled hastily onto legal forms. The simple text description sent off into the abyss: “the white one with the fence.” Four walls that you painted teal at age fourteen. A bed that used to be too big but now it feels too small. Billowing curtains that hold midnight whispers and early morning secrets. 

Where is home? For so long, our homes have been handed to us. They were given to us at birth the very day that our parents brought us “home.” It is with privilege that I say I have never had to think about the physical space of “home.” 

This “Home” that we speak of is relative. I’ve never felt as though I’ve had a definitive “home.” Yes, I have always had a bed and a dresser and a fridge full of exciting food. In that sense, I have always been home. In the literal sense, home is a place of belonging, a space that you retreat to for peace. In the metaphorical sense, home is not always represented by a tangible address. Often times, I feel more at home with people than I do in my own literal house. 

I don’t belong to spaces. I don’t belong to groups. I belong to people and feelings and energies infinitely more than I belong to places or things. 

I’ve always wondered how the feeling of “belonging” in one place comes about because I’ve always felt that I could or did or would “belong” in so many different and unique spaces. It is only now that I realize I’ll never belong in one place; my “belonging” will accompany me across the miles I travel in a lifetime. It will never be rooted to a place, only a person, a memory, or a feeling. 

“I don’t know where home is, and the doors wide open”-Mt. Joy

My preparation for departure from these homes looks different from what I expected it to be. 

I no longer find a home in my bedroom. My bedsheets do not call to me with a comforting whisper as they did long ago. My car is not a safe space for crying and laughing and telling secrets. The way that my mom’s house smells when she bakes bread no longer eases all sorrows. 

I am departing from these physical homes one day at a time. 

Now, instead of asking the expanse of doors and windows to take me in and call me theirs, I look towards a different, more transportable type of home. I take comfort in the miniscule details of the people around me. I breathe in the air freshener that makes my friend’s car always smell the same. My arms and outfits embrace the cool feeling of a 67-degree day. I bask in the way that clothes feel when they come out of the dryer. I wear and inhale my perfume that reminds me of my mother. 

“I don’t know where home is, and the doors wide open”-Mt. Joy 

My home resides in people. You are my home.