You will never be completely at home again. Because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.
I have moved more than thirteen times in my life. I have lived in three different states. And, I have family and friends all over this country.
Every time you move you leave behind who you are at that time in your life. I grew up in a small town in Ohio. Imagine corn fields, farms, and a 20 minute drive to Krogers… I did say Ohio right? I moved into a small development in high school and this became the house I called home throughout college. As I left for college and growing up, I started to realize that this small town that I had the privilege of moving around was a town with a feeling you could never replicate. I was with my family every step of the way, the most caring, loving family in this world. I can honestly tell you there is not a road in this town that I have not run on and not a school in this town I have not attended.
I think that’s the best part. When you run a town it becomes more raw and you associate different emotions, memories, and people to the roads you’ve been down. You see things a different way than just driving. You’ve seen them in the rain, snow, during sunset, sunrise, and even the middle of the day heat. You’ve been down the dirt roads, one way roads, country back roads, and the ever popular in Ohio, construction roads.
Moving to Kentucky for college was the best decision of my life. This was another town I became ‘one’ with. Sweat and tears were laid out on these roads with some of the best teammates in the world. I’m pretty sure I laid a footprint on every road and path in the entire town plus more. I became a different person in this town and it was a growing time in my life. College is an amazing time when people come together in a town, have the most memorable times, and then unfortunately head back to the place you came from. You really never are the same as you are at that time in your life.
After college I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. Oh, Knoxville. Who would have ever thought that I would love the color orange, the Vols, and the Smokey Mountains? I fell in love with the beauty of this place. The small town feeling and the person I am when I am here. There was never a time when I didn’t look up while running and not feel my heart melt with gratitude to be able to see what I was looking at while running. How could you not? It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Running here just the other day a feeling over came me and I simply can not explain how in awe I was at how lucky I am to have a piece of me here. The people in Knoxville have captured my heart. They have put a southern love in me that I never want to go away. My heart remains in Knoxville.
I will never feel at ‘home’ ever again. Isn’t home where you make it? Home is where your heart is. My heart is everywhere. I am so thankful to be able to say that. Seriously, how lucky am I to have so many places and people to love. We were meant to live life and travel and love. The journey of life is learning where to live, love where you came from, and remembering the places and the people that made you who you are today. Good thing I run with my heart and no matter where I am, that makes me feel at home.