I’ve been a professional speaker for a number of years. That means numerous times a year I travel to wherever the work takes me, which is sometimes to some pretty cool places. I’ve been to the four corners of the United States and countless places in between. I even got hired to go speak in the Bahamas once, which was a tough gig. Whew. But even though I have been lucky enough to see all those amazing places and meet so many amazing people, I am reminded that Dorothy was right.
There’s no place like home. That feeling you get when you come home from a long grueling trip and drop your suitcase on the bedroom floor and take a deep breath… I’m home. Sigh.
My dad was in the military when I was growing up, so we moved to a new place every 3 years. I have lived in Germany twice, and a half dozen states from Washington to Virginia. But no matter where we were, home was what grounded me. Home was the thing I could always count on. I guess that’s one reason why I love Christmas music so much, because it seems that so many songs revolve around the idea of being at home or going home, and how important that is.
And so that brings me to the point of this post. Finding your ‘home’ is so critically important. And ‘home’ is different for each person, no doubt. To me, my home is the collection of people who love and support me through thick and thin, good times and bad. It’s not a specific house or town, but rather a group of people. Mostly family, but a handful of close friends thrown in for good measure. They celebrate with me when I succeed, and they cry with me when I mourn. They are honest with me when I need the truth, and they protect me and stand up for me when others won’t.
For some people, I imagine ‘home’ is truly a place. Perhaps the house you grew up in that your parents still live in today, and that one day you’ll inherit when they die. Perhaps it’s that neighborhood where you grew up and played in the street. But whatever your ‘home’ is, I think you would agree with me that the memories and the people that inhabit your ‘home’ mean alot to you. They hold value.
For me, it’s the compass that shows me what true north is and it reminds me why I do what I do. It’s a constant reminder of what’s most important in my life, and what isn’t. If I ever lose sight when times get tough, looking toward my ‘home’ and spending time there re-energizes me and lifts my spirits. And perhaps most importantly, home reminds me where I came from.
I have always been a student of history, and I love pouring over old tales of what happened before. I love this because I truly believe that you can’t move forward without at least knowing what lies behind you, and forgetting the past carries with it a price. You learn from the mistakes that you and others made, and that makes you better at figuring out where you need to go. And when you lose your way or when you achieve more than you ever dreamed, your ‘home’ will mean more to you than anything because it’s the rock that steadies you. So find your home. You need it more than you know.