31 More Things – 2 – Home

These are from Ali’s 31 More Things class. More context here.

So here’s my day two – home.

(journaling below)


Home has been an elusive concept for me. For many, many years of my life, I regularly felt like I didn’t have a home. I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, but I moved to the United States when I was seventeen. I spent the first few years here in a dorm room in Pittsburgh and then a small apartment in New York City and then another two in San Diego. I then moved to the Bay Area where I finally got to live in a house and not an apartment. But even then, we were renting. And, finally, as of six years ago, we have our own little home.

In all the places I’ve lived, I’ve always questioned if this was my home or not. Was my home still in Turkey or was it finally in America? Surely a dorm room couldn’t be my home, could it? Did a home have to be a home, or could it be an apartment? What would make my home and home? How would I know when I finally had a home in the United States?

After pondering all these questions, here’s what I’ve come to believe: I have many homes. I have home in Turkey, with my mom and dad. One that’s always open to me anytime I choose to stay. I have a home in Burgaz with my mom and my dad and my sister and her family anytime I choose to join them. I have a home with my in-laws in Boston and Martha’s Vineyard. They are always welcoming and would love to have me. And, finally, I have my own home, right here in Menlo Park, California. All of these places are my homes because all of these places are where the people I love live.

Home is where we laugh and spend time together and have arguments and cry with disappointment and celebrate with joy. Home is where we eat, we play, we talk, we sleep, and where we create memories. Home is where we are always welcomed and where belonging is never questioned. Home is warm and cozy. Home is soft and inviting.

Home is not about a location or a type of building. It’s not about the furniture inside. It’s about the people who smile when you walk through the door. It’s about deep sense of contentment that envelops you each time you walk through the door. It’s about getting to be exactly who you are and being loved exactly for that.

I am incredibly lucky to get to have all the homes I have and to get to spend my moments in these places, with these people whom I love and cherish so deeply.

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