Where is home?
This question is something that I have struggled with for the past couple of years. I constantly feel like I am chasing after missing pieces of home.
When I was younger, home was where my family lived and where I had friends. Once I was in college, home started to become the place where I felt comfortable to be with my friends. Now that I’ve went on SST to Peru, my definition of home is less of a physical place and more of an ever-changing concept.
One night during my last half of my SST experience, I was miserably homesick. So I made a list of all of the things I would not miss when I left Peru. I would not miss the barking dogs at night or the way that I was called “gringa” while walking in town. And I would especially not miss the cold bucket showers.
But as I was listing out all the negatives, they slowly turned into positives. I was able to find pieces of home in Peru.
Most of them were not physical things, but it was the way that my host sister would call my name when she got home from school or when my host mom would sit in silence and watch the clouds with me. It made me feel appreciated and valued as a part of their home.
These small pieces of home got me through the rest of SST and now, I am making more of an effort to collect pieces in my everyday life. I only have a little over one semester left in a place that I would consider a home, so I am staying present.
I am savoring the brisk Wednesday morning walks to chapel with my roommates and the sounds of the train rolling through campus. I am noticing the things that make me excited to be in Goshen, while also acknowledging the things that make me want to leave.
Instead of worrying about what I will be doing in a year, or even in six months, I am focusing on collecting my pieces of home. I don’t think I will ever be done collecting, or maybe my definition of home will change completely, but at least I will be present in my reality.