Home is a slippery word. It has so many meanings and connotations that it seems like
it’d be impossible to define. But for me, I’ve found that “home” is one of those things that lives comfortably across multiple states and rests solidly within the walls of a special few .
We’ve lived in Omaha for more than two years now and holy guacamole that’s weird. Two years? Turns out I’m not a tourist, and I’m not a transient, either. When we were at a bar in Wisconsin that was small enough for a woman to come up to us and gleefully say, “I don’t know you, and I know everyone here. Who are you?”, without any sarcasm. I had to answer that I’m from Omaha.
It’s too confusing to explain that I’m “from” Minnesota, but have lived all over the place. It should be simple, and yet it never is. I always want to reaffirm that I’m proudly raised in Minnesota, a loyal Duluth alumna (go dogs!), a former St. Paul resident, and a worshipper of all 10,000 lakes. But in the end, that isn’t fair to where we are, or where we’ve been.
Skipping over the brief stint that was North Dakota, because it really was a blink of an eye consisting of 75% road trips to weddings and drill weekends distinctly not in NoDak, I’ll resist any temptation to reminisce (if that’s even what you can call it).
But here we are, feet planted firmly in Peyton’s famous play call, and turns out, I’m enjoying this little home we’ve created.
I’ve found enough restaurants, that I crave specific meals and moods (Yoshi-ya ramen , I’m thinking of you!) The neighborhoods are not unfamiliar, and I can navigate myself home (for the most part) if I get lost (which does still happen because this damn city isn’t on a grid! WHY??) There are local events that I look forward to, and I’ve even become a member at a yoga studio AND I actually go to it!
I think the greatest thing of all, is realizing that my partner in crime and I have created a little haven of habits and preferences that, while on vacation, we can actually look at each other and say, “I miss our bed”, and mean more than literally the bed. It’s our base, and our space to function without thinking about what we forgot to pack. It’s our new normal, and it’s our home.
The Bold North will always have my heart (Wisconsin included, because you’ve got to respect a state that does to-go cocktails), but there’s something about coming back to a city that made you learn to love it, even if it’s just a stop on the long journey back home.