I returned to San Francisco on Tuesday from a visit to the East Coast. It was my third trip east in nine months of living out west, and it was wonderful. Then again, returning to the city where I currently live was wonderful too.
As I swim through jet lag and travel fatigue in the days that have followed, I've been pondering the question of which coast I should call home right now. I heard myself say I'm going home in reference to both eastward and westward travel. And midway through my flight west on Tuesday, I woke up confused about which coast was my final destination. I traveled NYC->SFO->NYC for at least seven years before reversing it to SFO->NYC->SFO, so it seems pretty reasonable that I could get mixed up. Yet the larger question prompted by these travels is still worth considering.
What is "home"?
You would probably agree that dictionary definitions don't get at the heart of it. Perhaps that's why we often hear such sayings as Home is where the heart is. Home has an emotional component; it's not just where one lives.
Right now, for example, I don't feel like I live anywhere permanently. I uprooted myself from New York City in December, and I have laid down new roots in San Francisco since then, but it doesn't feel permanent. Back in NYC last week, everything felt familiar and comfortable, but I don't live there and have no permanent stake in it right now either. So this has me wondering:
What is "permanence"?
Does all this mean I'm "home-less"?
What does it take to foster a new sense of "home" in a new place?
Is it possible to have two "homes" in your heart?
I'm inclined at the moment to say I have two homes and not overthink these questions that have come up. I was warmly welcomed by loved ones on both coasts, and maybe that's all that matters?