Home is such a weird concept. What makes a home?
I always thought Chicago is my home. It’s where I’m from. Where I spent most of my life. It’s the city that I have come back to after leaving for 4 years.
It’s funny how things change while you’re gone. Now that I’m home, I’m realizing how much the idea of “home” is different for me now.
I don’t have family in Chicago anymore and no family home to take all of my crap to. I don’t have my old bedroom to crash at while I figure my life out.
Most of my childhood friends have moved to other areas of the country and most of the establishments I used to frequent are gone or something else (mainly turned into Chipotle’s and Potbelly’s).
So, not a lot feels the same.
However, there are things that make this city feel like home.
The friendliness of passersby who say “hello” as you walk past them on the sidewalk, the cicada’s chorus at night, the screeching of trains on old el tracks, the uneasiness of driving down streets that have been abused by harsh winters and sweltering summers.
I feel like a bit of a tourist in my own city when I have to open up Google Maps on my phone to direct me to places or not remembering where I can transfer from one train line to another. But when I drive down streets and memories of my father and I come flooding back to me I’m taken back to a feeling of home.
Home is not a place, home is a feeling. And you can feel home anywhere.