What Home Means Gets Me Every Time

Skyline_BostonGMETWhat does home mean to you? When I count my blessings (which I do, at least every night) I always include both my house and my home. Some times, these terms are used interchangeably, but in my world, they are two distinct things.

They’re not even places, both of them.

A house is a place, sure. But for me, a home is a feeling, a state of being.

A house has walls and rooms and doors. A home has people and events and memories.

A house needs upkeep. A home is almost perfect any which way it is.

A house stays where it is. A home can follow you everywhere and can be anywhere.


For so long I feel as though my idea of house and home has been distorted. While at college “home” was a term I used to refer to going back to the place where my parents lived. (Or the place I needed to be taken after a long night, let’s be real.) When we bought a house, “home” was something I decided I suddenly had one of my own.

But really, “home” is something you can always have, no matter if there’s a physical structure with it or not. Maybe it’s about the people.

Home Card from RedBubble


There’s that saying, “Home is wherever I’m with you” that’s been popping up a lot the past few years, especially on sites like Etsy. You can see how that’s true, especially if there’s a person (or persons) in your life whom you couldn’t imagine being without.

On the flip side, “House is wherever I’m with you.” Nope. Just doesn’t have the same ring to it.


For me, the best thing about “home” is that you can actually get away with having more than just one—and it’s way more affordable than having more than just one house.

To this day, we all probably say “back home” in reference to where we spent our formative years. We may call our parents’ houses “home” or our grandparents’ houses “home.”

Or we can call “home” the place where our physical dwelling place resides, (as the song goes, Boston, you’re my home.) We can refer to home as those special people in our lives. And we can say that there’s no place like it.

There’s a book, You Can’t Go Home Again, with a title that’s now a popular phrase in our everyday vernacular warning people you cannot return to an idyllic world you came from after you’ve left it.

Bon Jovi even wrote a song about it, but really, don’t click if you don’t want it stuck in your head.

But there’s also a popular story of a lost son returning home that says you can always go home again.

I think, and feel free to disagree, that if you have a memory, you can always, always, always go home. Places are temporary. People don’t last forever. But your thoughts and feelings about “home” can transport you there any time.

One comment

  1. elizabeth says:

    having moved house/home 5 times since I’ve been married, the definition of home has been challenged but it always comes back to being with my people, no matter the address. there is a word though that I love and describes a feeling I’ve never been able to name before – hiraeth.

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