Last night, after a challenging afternoon with our puppy that ended in me absolutely needing ice cream, Rob came home from a Hornets game and we ended up driving to the Dairy Queen in Plaza Midwood for a late-night dessert.
It was one of those muggy spring nights that feels more like summer than anything else--79 degrees at 9:45 PM, windows down on the highway with the new Death Cab for Cutie album blaring, hair sticking to my damp shoulders. A line around the corner for ice cream and the smell of honeysuckle in the air.
It felt a lot like home.
Lately we've been talking about what our life might look like if Rob had to travel for work, and the other day I had a bit of a breakdown when what had been excitement and opportunity turned temporarily into sadness and frustration: I've worked really hard for this home. We said we wouldn't move again, so we found a running path and a coffee shop and we got a dog and I painted a wall in our bedroom and bought a six-month barre membership. Because we live here.
When we moved here last August and I didn't like it, I pushed through and forced myself to call it home. And it worked--we live here and I like it.
It means something to belong somewhere, even if you have to force it at first.
But I always manage to find pieces of myself everywhere we go. There will be warm nights and chocolate-dipped ice cream cones that remind me of my childhood; and every time I hear Little Wanderer I'll remember that first spring after we were married when we drove around Charlotte for no reason at 10 PM on a Wednesday, breathing in the humid air and wondering what might be next for us.
Whether it's a hotel room in New York City or a house with a front porch and a backyard in Charlotte, home will always be wherever we find ourselves.
Photo by V.A. Photography.