“Where thou art, thou is home.” – Emily Dickinson
This past weekend, I ventured home to my beloved New Jersey for fall break. Over the course of four days I visited friends, had a lovely dinner with my grandmother, went out for the last boat ride of the season on the Shrewsbury River, played with one of the kids I babysat over the summer, and ate at a number of my favorite eateries. All in all, I had a wonderful four days at home.
When I returned on Tuesday I was overjoyed to see my friends and be back at home. After celebratory hugging it was great to catch up on everything that had happened. Apparently campus was extremely barren during fall break. Two of my friends climbed a mountain! From what it sounded like, fall break was a successful and much needed reprieve for all. Eventually my roommate and I started settling down, realizing that midterms and tests were less than 24 hours away. Being imperfect, the lack of complete concentration was inevitable. We found ourselves comparing stories, laughing, and hanging a picture of 14 baby pandas on our ceiling. What came up next was a surprise to us both. While away from Clark we felt internally conflicted in identifying our homes. Was our home in Massachusetts?
Is my home at Clark or in New Jersey? Can I have two homes? In Worcester I have my home in Johnson-Sanford. This home is a place where I can be me, a place where I have found people who love me. My home at Clark is home because it is a place where I feel comfortable. I can walk around without any makeup on. I can do flips off of my bed. I can sit on the green by myself, taking in life. In comparison my home in New Jersey is also a place where I can be me, but it is a place where they have to take me in no matter what. There is an aspect of unconditional love that makes my home in New Jersey slightly different than my home at Clark. My home in New Jersey is home because it is familiar. After all I have spent nearly my entire life there. It is the place where I first started discovering life and who I am. It is my rock, the place I know that I can always return.
So where is my home – New Jersey or Worcester? I think that Emily Dickinson says it best in that, “Where thou art, thou is home.” To me, it is not that I have two physically separate homes. Rather home is where I make home to be. When I am in Worcester I am home and when I am in New Jersey I am home.