Yesterday my best friend in Nashville said "You're in your happy place." It was a message on my insta stories where I've been documenting my trip home to Cali. Anyone who's close to me knows this is basically Christmas. I'm my happiest here. Not because I'm not happy I'm Nashville, but because home is where I grew up. Where I was born. Where my sister and brothers were born. And home is where mom and dad still are.
Home is driving through your hometown and looking for that place you used to have your favorite milkshake. Where you shared a first kiss with your first real boyfriend. Where your Grandma used to live and smoke cigarettes on the front porch. Where you went to pre-school and made your first friend. It's where the smell of your parents house remains the same and it's familiar and warm. And it's home.
The only difference today, is everything. Because time passes. And the milkshake place is closed down. And the lockers at your high school have been painted. And you have children of your own. And when they look out at the Pacific Ocean for the first time and they can feel the sand in their toes, they giggle and their giggle reminds you of your childhood. That innocent, virtuous time of running up and down that beach while your parents intently watched from the chair and umbrella. But now, it's Grandpa running with your children through that salt water and your children laugh like it's the most wonderful day on earth. And it is. For them. For Grandpa. For Mimi. For me. It's so wonderful that it stops a beat in your heart because the knowledge of real time and how much we have of it left is mind blowing. That is home.
It's where the sun sets differently and the children play with their cousins who only get to see each other once or twice a year. But you wouldn't know that because they act so close and comfortable, like no time has passed at all. And it's these moments I realize how fortunate we are. To share in the glory my parents dreamt of and conquered. And that feels like home. It's chaotic and loud and the California traffic has tripled and the years have put age on our faces, but that's the beauty of it. It keeps going and we're still here and we're still a family. And home will always be that. And this dynamic of home and this family and all it encompasses absolutely fills my heart, lights my soul on fire and is everything I love about life.