For the past month, I have been interviewing friends on their understandings and experiences of home. This is a question we all struggle with at some point in our lives, and is more relevant now amidst a global pandemic. Where are you stuck or where did you (choose to) find refuge when stay-at-home orders were issued? Do you feel at home now, wherever you are?
I asked each person a series of nine questions, exploring childhood, movement, ancestral origins, and dreams & imaginations. While I have a lot more content to review and write about, I’ve chosen to share a little sneak peek of what I’ve been working on. Below are clippings from the interviewees, responding to the broadest question in the bunch: “How would you define home?”
Atlanta. 21 yo.
“my definition of home is more immaterial. home is wherever i am.”
later in the interview, Blake shared with me “i am my home.”
NYC. 21 yo.
“I think home is just a place where I feel safe, somewhere I come back to… it just shifts… I make a home out of whatever situation that I’m in.”
later in the interview, Lena shared with me “my body is my home.”
Chicago. 20 yo.
“now i see it as a group; as people.”
Portland. 21 yo.
“i think particular places where people had a sense of familiarity with me, i associated with home.”
Chicago. 23 yo.
“home is wherever i am, it’s just a matter of being present.”
NYC. 22 yo.
“i define home to be where me and my mom can be a functioning family.”
NYC. 21 yo.
“i just think home is wherever you feel comfortable.”
Note: I’ve chosen to share my interviewees current locations, or “homes,” and their ages to show the points of connection between all of them. They are all from large cities in the U.S. and in their early 20s. We are at a stage in life where we are more grounded in and understanding of ourselves. “Home” is constantly evolving, but what they’ve shared with me so far is quite transformative. If you choose to follow me on this journey home, I invite you to pay attention to these threads of commonalities (and differences, too); how would you respond to the questions I posed to my interviewees? For the purposes of this post, how do you currently define home?