Coming home

First of all (mainly to get it out of the way) Happy Valentine's Day. Yes, I know, I should be all romantic seeing as I am very much in love with my boyfriend. However, I can't help but wonder why we get all hyped up to spend a bunch of time, money, and energy on one day of the year. What's wrong with showing our love the other 364 days? Anyway, I digress. Enough of my apathy towards a holiday aimed at getting us to spend as much money as possible.

Actually, this last weekend was all about love for me. On Friday, Bri and I headed out to the beautiful Starved Rock Lodge so that I could be a bridesmaid in my friend Whitney's wedding. You want to talk love and commitment? I have known this girl since kindergarten- it was so amazing to be there on her day. She's always a beautiful girl, but there really is something to what they say about the glowing bride. She was stunning.

And again I am straying from my path here. While the weekend was beautiful, and I enjoyed every rehearsal-dinner-prepping-ceremony-reception-dancing-hiking the next day minute of it, I couldn't ignore that by Sunday, I was craving my home. And then something surprising dawned on me.

Few people other than Bri know how much I have struggled with the concept of home lately. Although I loved both apartments I had in the city, I never really considered either of them my home- more just a place I lived in temporarily. And while a part of me will always consider my parent's house my home, there is no denying that things have never been the same there since Mom died. It's almost as if the place is a shell of what it used to be, no longer filled with her laughter, baking, cooking, and dinner table discussions.

Up until December, I felt homeless. Not in the sense that I didn't have a place to sleep at night; my step-dad was more than willing to have me come back to the house for a few months when I was between apartments. But homeless in the sense that I didn't really have anywhere that I felt I could truly call my home. 

So when I was craving to go home yesterday, it really hit me. More like crept up on me. For the past two months, I have felt like I have had a home and barely even realized it. I think it is because it is so comfortable, so natural, that it seems like I have always been there. Bri, me, and the stinky little dog.

It's amazing to me that I could be so focused on missing something, on searching for something, then not even realizing when I grasp it. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but I take it as a good sign that I am so comfortable and happy in my apartment with Bri that I didn't even realize I have already mentally made it mine.

Even after our weekend away from it all, nothing made me happier than getting back to our apartment, unpacking our bags, and curling up in front of the TV next to Bri with a fire crackling in the background. Even though this dwelling may also be temporary, I can't think of anywhere that feels more like home.

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