Friday, November 5, 2010

Tap Your Heels Together and Head... Where?

Something very odd happened to me the other day. My boss was telling me about how an education professor said something to the extent of "Why would you ever get an art major? What would you do with that?" in a meeting. (No, this post is not about the merits of art. Maybe another day.) My boss was kind of upset that this education professor was not supporting the other departments and in response, I said, "That's really weird, I mean, we're well-known for our art department!"

Pause. Immediately realize what I've said. Re-think. "We're known for our art department."

In one short sentence, I subconsciously became a part of Concordia University as I never had before. It's only been 112 days since I started my job here in Seward, and I've already placed myself into the "we" context.

When I went to Denmark in 7th grade for 6 months, I was very conscious of not saying anything that made me a permanent part of the people and places. Mostly because I was a spiteful teenager and I resented being away from my friends for half of a year. But I was also terrified that I might become attached to something there, so I never called it "home." It was always "I'm going back to the apartment." If I ever slipped up, I corrected myself to make the point. And up until now, I think I've been doing the same thing here.

I won't lie to you, faithful readers, I was not so much a happy camper this summer. Life had thrown a hundred major changes at me, and I didn't want to accept that things were changing. I didn't want to become part of a "we" in Seward. This town was merely a placeholder while I figured out the next step of my journey. And yet, now I'm saying "we" and not even realizing it. Can a place become our home without our noticing? When we try to fight it?

As a post-grad, home is a strange concept to grapple with anyways. Sure, I say I'm from Champaign, but I haven't lived there for any more than a few months in 4 years. That's basically 20% of my life. Which is kind of significant. So is that still my home? My house is there. My parent's house is there, actually. Where is my home?

Maybe home is where we find ourselves saying "we" and not realizing it. The "we" sneaks up on us and makes a cozy nest in our chests. And before we know it, "we" have found a place to be, and a place to belong, and a place to call home, even if only for a while.


  1. all i really want to know is, did you actually figure out that calculation?

  2. yes, obviously. although it includes weekends, so...