Hm, re-entry back to life in the United States, and San Francisco, has been more turbulent than I was expecting. There was the first week where I needed to hide away from the over-marketed, over-televised, over-gaudy society that is the American Christmas season. That and everyone’s obsession with the traffic and the weather. And then a week spent in New York City exploring and visiting friends, and imagining if I could be happy living there. Christmas with my family. And now I’ve returned to San Francisco, where I’m trying to figure out the plot twists in my next chapter of life.
For a three-week stretch in November and December, I slept in nine different places. I’ve now spent three weeks sleeping in one place – a home in SF full of friends – and that has been great – but until I get a new job, I will be firmly engaged in a gypsy life, floating from friend to friend, and couch to couch. And that is a very strange, and very new, feeling for me.
It’s been six weeks since I arrived back home to this country – and I’ve been struggling to define “home” ever since. I no longer have my own apartment; I no longer have a job to give me a defined purpose and way to focus my days; I graduated from my Masters program; most friends are hibernating during January, so my usual social scene is very slow right now. And, perhaps most importantly, I got very comfortable with the slower pace of life in Kenya, and a more homey existence, complete with helpful neighbors and boisterous kids next-door. I realize now that I want my next home to include other people – no more studio living for me. Having a cluster of wonderful friends that are part of my daily life, creating deeper connections, that’s what will make me feel more connected and at home.
How do you define home?