Home is Where the Heart is

Commentary

Sam Klein, Staff

Only a week into the spring semester and I already have a heavy heart.  

I hear so many people around me excited for another fresh beginning, to reconnect with friends they haven’t seen in weeks, to begin to plan in advance the weekend adventures they will go on, and the long nights they will have. But I couldn’t help choking back tears as my car pulled out of the driveway and I set off for school once again. And just like all of those people I hear discussing their lives and plans around me, I too am excited for a new beginning, new year, the ability to reconnect with my friends and teammates and the planning of exciting events. Yet only a week in and I feel guilty for having a heavy heart.  

Before now, I thought that home was merely a structure. It was the place you slept in at night, that kept you out of the winter cold and dry when the Earth was crying. It was an establishment with 4 walls in which you kept all of your belongings and went back to after a long day. It was the place you ate your meals and washed the troubles off your skin. However, it isn’t until you leave home for a while and return that you learn home isn’t just a structure, but a concept.  

Home is what makes you feel the most comfortable, where you feel at your safest; what puts your mind at ease, creating the same sensation as a never-ending hug. Home is warm, it is soft. Home can be a person, people even—maybe even people that don’t consist of your family.  Home is like the first sip of coffee in the morning or the smell of freshly mowed grass. It is said home is where the heart is, which is true, for home is where, what, and who your heart connects with.  

For me, my home isn’t here in Philadelphia, so leaving to come to school is never simple and rarely goes without a few tears. Yet home isn’t a place designed for you to leave for an extended period of time. Home is the place you’re meant to stay. A place you’re always meant to appreciate and to cherish.  

Homesickness is the cause of my heavy heart. Remorsefully, here in Philly, I miss my home. Yet to be at school means to step outside of this comfort zone, to miss home and miss everything comfortable it brings with it in order to grow. No growth occurs in the places in which we are the most complacent. If the weather was only ever sunny, the grass would begin to dry and flowers would inevitably die. The discomfort of rain is necessary to maintain the balance and beauty of nature, therefore as a part of nature, discomfort is necessary for us to survive, and thrive, as well.  

Homesickness creates for a heart as heavy as a wet rag, yet to feel this way is necessary. If you’re away from the things, places, and people that fill your soul with endless sunshine, I am proud of you. I am proud you are choosing to conquer a world of unfamiliarity and grow as an individual outside of your comfort zone, to choose to leave where your heart most strongly resides in order to find new places that feel like grabbing the last cookie out of the jar or singing along to your favorite song.  

Leaving home is never easy, yet the easiest things aren’t always the most worthwhile, and the most worthwhile things aren’t always easy.  

If you too are like me, guilty with an incomplete heart, know I am proud of you for making the worthwhile decision, and you should be too.  

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