Excerpts from an essay written in Freshman Year for English 101
Home, many places come to mind when that word is mentioned. A house, apartment, condo, townhouse, trailer, or even RV. Everyone's home is different, from the place itself to the people in them. From a small studio apartment to a mansion, every home is diverse in size, layout, architecture, and location. And inside them, the residents are also diversified. It could be a single college student(hey, that's me!) or a family of four.
But of course, that's what most people think when I say residence, Home, to people, means something a little more abstract. Ever heard of "home is where the heart is"? Apparently, home can be anywhere where your loved ones are. Wait a minute, then what about me? Is it saying that I haven't been living at my home for the past five years? Obviously, this idiom isn't the true meaning of home. After all, aren't homes a little more important to us than just having our families and special someones?
According to studies all over the place, a person can determine a person's psychology. People with dysfunctional homes often have a negative mindset than those whose homes are all bright and happy. It is also said that a home reflects the residents' state of being. Unorganized people will most likely have a messy home, a person who works all day will have a layer of dust is some of the more less visited places in his home. One can also tell many of the characteristics of a resident by examining his/her home. For me, it was obvious that I placed my computer and cooking above everything else because the most expensive thing in my house is my $2000 computer, and my kitchen was noticeably the best place in my home. Those aspects were prioritized over even my sleeping place, which for the longest time was a futon on the floor in the corner of the room.
Passing all that, what does home truly mean? For people like me with literally no one close, it isn't "where the heart is". Another meaning is that a home is where one grew up. Many children growing up in one home, which becomes the only place they associate with the word "home". But that doesn't work for me either, I'm 4494 miles away from my first home and I honestly don't remember it at all. But I will support this point a little in saying that my birthplace is the only place I would be willing to establish a permanent residence.(Sorry FL, you're awesome, but not as awesome as HI!)
Moving on, the mean of home I think is the the closest to the truth: home is where you return to at night. I think it fits the bill the most comfortably. After all, that holds true for me. At the end of the day, I always find myself back in my nice rented house in Atlanta, GA. There may be times I sleep in a hotel in Tampa or at a friend's place in Jacksonville, but at the end of the week I know I always sleep more at my home.
But of course, my definition of home doesn't fit everybody. For some, it may truly be "where the heart is" or where they grew up. And even for me, I have to contradict myself and I agree just a little bit. If I had a family that cared, I'd probably call that place home. Or if I still lived in Hawaii, I would definitely call that home.
I think when it comes down to it though, home is where you end up at the end of your respective day. For me, it will be this house in Atlanta, but someday it will be in Lihue, Kauai.
Stepping aside from all the abstract concepts now, I haven't done a Kai's Rant Theater 3000 on this site yet, so I'll take this time to rant about my "home", past and present. I suggest most people just leave now because this part is 100% rant.
In the past, I lived in Honolulu, HI for a while. It is what I considered to be the best city in the world. No cars in the street at night(can you imagine any other city like that?), a beautiful skyline, and an even more beautiful beach. I lived on the 10th floor of the Kukui Plaza, which was quite an awesome apartment complex.The view from the window was amazing, and the apartment itself wasn't bad. I lived with my new family(I was adopted), but the mother divorced soon after. My father was always out at work, so I don't blame him for never being around. He was providing money for my brother and I, which I believe is more important than keeping me company. My brother and I had to walk to school every morning and walk back once school was over, but I would somehow lose him somewhere along the way. He would always arrive at home before I did, but I always had to check the mail, which meant I had to go to the mail room on the first floor.
Then we moved to Kauai, Banyan Harbor, a nice condominium in Nawiliwili Bay. Back when I lived there, it was just an apartment, not a resort. It was one of the best places I felt I ever lived in. It was a small condo, but everything was superb. The view from the balcony, the cool ocean breeze, the beach only a short walk away, the pier at the same distance, and it was located in a small island town with lots of green and blue(trees and water). I told myself that if I couldn't get a house, I'd just get a condo here. That was until it became a resort hotel.
We moved around to two different house after that, and my father got remarried. Those houses were not really noteworthy, even though I loved both of them. At this stage in life, I was adjusting to having a mother in the house again, and a father who was around more because of a secondary income.
My one year in Denver was a disaster. My father forced me into band and the Gifted & Talented program, which took up all my time between studying and practicing for band class. Although I did manage to beat almost every first chair in the class, my studies didn't go as well. B's and C's weren't good enough for my father, that was the first time I really got to see my father upset.
Then it was Sunshine State time in good ol' Florida. The little town of Auburndale reminded me a lot of Lihue. My life eventually got back on track with new friends and grades improved. Until sophomore year when I went temporarily crazy over the the stress of work, study, and many other issues at the time. In the end, I was kicked out of the house and lived in a nearby park for a day until the father of one of my friends saw me walking down the street.
I lived at their house for a few weeks until I got a small apartment in the nearby town of Lakeland. I then began my new line of work in finances and finished high school. Living alone and graduating high school felt like an accomplishment at the time. I had an apartment, a car, and a good-paying job. Most high school graduates don't have that.
With all that, I paid my own way into USF in Tampa. I lived in the dorms for about a year and a half before getting an apartment of my own. It was a cheap 1 bed/1 bath apartment on the second floor in a particularly "bad" part of town. But I was lucky to never have my apartment broken into or my car vandalized. Although it did get towed once.
And now I find myself in Atlanta, GA. Going to GATech and loving it. I still love my job and I got enough money to do whatever I want. I believe I'll stay here until I graduate or find another reason to move. I don't know where I'll go, but I know where I'll end up.
Lihue, Hawaii. There's actually a nicer, more beautiful place on Kauai named Poipu, but that's way expensive. It's like the rich of the rich places. I'll settle for my hometown. Although if I move to Honolulu instead, I'll gladly return to Kukui Plaza.
I'm not exactly sure what the point of this rant was, but oh well.That was my home, past, present, and most likely future.
The rant was inspired by this song stuck in my head: