Dedicated to Anthony Scott Ellis – Thank you for not only being home for me, but for seeing, and loving me.
HOME….. When you think about home, what does that mean? I used to think that “Home” was a place. For some it may be just that, a physical dwelling that gives them a sense of whatever their definition of “Home” is, peace, comfort, contentment, success.
For me, I used to believe that home was a place that you found, a place that you physically occupied with things within it that brought comfort, that brought one cover from all the chaos and loudness of the everyday world that takes place when you open the front door and stepped out. A place you could disappear into. I anticipated home to be a safe place, a place I could be ME, authentically one hundred percent me. The place where I was the me that I hid from the rest of the world, including the people I interacted with, the place I was raw, vulnerable, genuine, real, most importantly, unapologetic about who I was. I didn’t have to be , correct, appropriate, or a person trying to meet one’s expectations or who they believed me to be, or whom they thought they were shaping me to be. I was just me, I could feel and think for myself whatever it may be, that I felt and thought at any given time about what ever the subject or situation might be.
Some people I have allowed closer than others, just close enough to keep the most inner part, the deep down part that is the unique part, that undeniably makes me who I am, guarded, protected, intact, strong minded, opinionated, passionate. That part of a person is sacred, innocent, untouched. That is the part of a person who makes them WHO they really are and unless you know that part of a person, you really don’t know what they are really about or why they do things or react to things as they do. It is the part of them that keeps them whole, protected from the world.
Life happens, people get close become friends, grow apart, fall in love, get married, get divorced. Life can be harsh, it can be scary, overwhelming, disappointing. There are so many experiences we go through in life. Sometimes life experiences send us on a journey we never even considered or thought to be possible, sometimes a path we would have never even knew existed. We go through life with hopes and dreams, expectations. We strive to reach our goals, achieve what we feel is greatness to each of us individually. Somewhere along the path is when we meet people who either nurture that inner most secret part, those that have the ability to chip away at that guarded place and /or people that help to grow our experiences, our thoughts our beliefs. Some of course send us driving that part of us deeper and deeper into hiding, never to ever be seen by another and sadly sometimes that part never sees the light of day. Sometimes it sends us running frantically in search or what or where home is to us. Sometimes the people we come across in life, change the direction of our “big picture” or what we believe to be our ultimate moment of when we have “officially made it” in life. Then there are some who help us understand exactly what it means to be WHO we are and show them parts of that deep down protected place within us. I can’t pretend to know how many people out there are still hiding that inner most secret part of themselves only to show a glimpse here or there but I can bet it is more than we could ever imagine.
It took me forty years and a great deal of experiences and even heart ache to find “Home” for me. It took year after year of experiences, good and bad, mistakes, misconceptions, misunderstandings. It took hard work, a deep look into that sacred guarded place. It took me finding my faith and navigating through all the baggage and disappointments in my life to get to a neutral ground, a place I could just start over in. It was then when it dawned on me that I was searching for a place to call home that was only superficially what home would come to truly mean to me. It led me to truly analyze what home, really was for me. After all these years and all of the years of life I have experienced so far, that I have finally come to realize what home is for me and what it means.
After almost ten years of friendship, and in a few months what will be six years of marriage, I unmistakably have come to learn what “Home” is for me. Home for me is you. I know how cliche right? Cheesy and like something so many people in life would and have said to their husbands or wives, girlfriend or boyfriends. Well It isn’t. You are different and I will tell you why.
We started out as friends, yes there was always an attraction however not immediate. I didn’t even really know what drew me to you initially in the first place but there was no mistake that there was something that I could not deny, something that wanted to be near you, to know you more. That is what initiated the friendship that came to be one of the most genuine and honest friendships I have ever had. It was initially what allowed an opportunity to grew a love inside of me that I didn’t even know the meaning of or how to be a part of, or even what it would be in the future. I saw you, I saw the part of you that you didn’t show to others, the part of you that you only were with me, it was the part of you that was vulnerable and wanting and scared, a part of you that was searching for something that you weren’t sure what was, same as I. It was like you were letting me in without even realizing you were letting me in. In doing so our connection grew and neither of us really realized what was happening, what it meant or where it would go. I was scared at times but I couldn’t help it, I had to know more of you. I wanted to be closer, to know the real you. There were times I thought I knew. I know now though. I am so grateful, so blessed. Looking back it makes so much sense to me now.
You are home, to me. You are my safe place. You have accepted me from the very first moment I met you. You never ever, not once judged me. Over the years we have had so many conversations and experiences together and we never ever judged the other for our thoughts or feelings about whatever the topic was. Relationships, why we stayed, why we didn’t, what we wanted, what we didn’t, moments in time. We didn’t have expectations of who we should be, we just shared time as we were. We shared our goals, our hopes for the future and while keeping those deep down parts of us guarded and intact we were learning and growing.You shared parts of you, decisions you made, asked my advice, shared some fears. We were living life each day as it came. It was living life on life’s terms. You never told me what I should do or how I should feel or how I should handle something. You just listened and after you listened, you always told me, you were in my corner. I for the longest didn’t truly know what that meant coming from you, until I did. After a few years, I was able to share more of myself with you but I still kept myself guarded, protected. I knew I had fell head over heels in love with you, however the journey of loving you has a different look and feel to it than I imagined so many years ago.
Now years into our marriage, I see. I understand now that you are my home. I understand what that means, the value of it. I know this because those little parts of me that I kept guarded for so much of my life, you see them. You are the one person who didn’t run when you got a glimpse of the real me, the vulnerable, passionate, determined, strong minded, opinionated me. Instead of running or trying to change me, you embraced me, you listened, you encouraged, you taught me. You have experienced the scared parts of me, the parts of me that I cringe at and you somehow see ME, like all the guarded parts of me that are walled off to the rest of the world, its like you have the ability to see through the wall I built around them, its like that wall is invisible to you, it doesn’t exist. Not only do you see me, you support me, you encourage me to keep being me. It is like you understand why I am who I am and are even thankful for it. You make me feel safe. You love me through the worst of me, sometimes seeing it as the best of me. You respect parts of me others can’t stand. You get me. You leave me trying to understand at times how you could possibly see those parts of me and yet still love me, love me more than in the first place. You are the first person that says ” I love you more” and I consider that fact that you truly believe you do. I ask myself if this (us) is what soulmates really are. I know you are home because I now know when people say after only minutes of one being absent, they say I miss you already. How I know that I don’t want to live one day without you by my side. That is me, I am that person. You are the first person I want to run to when I have good news but more importantly you are the person I want to run to when there is bad news. You are the person I tell my deepest hurts, disappointments and failures to. You are the FIRST person I have EVER been vulnerable to by choice, the only person I have ever let have control in any part or place in my life. You are the only person I have never feared being one hundred percent truthful with when it could rock me to my core. You help me to be fearless, passionate, loving on a level I have never known. You have taught me what it means to become one, to love someone for better or worse, for richer or poorer and in sickness and in health. I know what it is like to love someone completely. You have taught me what being loved feels like. I know that as long as I have you, everything and anything life throws at us, we will be alright, we will be better getting through it. You make me feel for the first time in my entire life, like I am enough.
This is finding home. There is no place like home
YOU are home.