Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"You Feel Like Home": Photographic Representations Pt. 1

Trying to make it all feel like home/these days are dark and nights are cold/
People acting like they lost their soul/And everywhere I go I meet another person like me/
Trying to make it all feel like home-Mumford and Sons

As I sit here reading "Happier At Home" by Gretchen Rubin, I start to think of the aspects of my own life that remind me of home.  Home is not only a place to me, but a metaphorical feeling that I experience around people that :"feel like home."  I think one of the best compliments that I have ever received was from a very dear friend of mine who wrote in a letter for my bday on my 21st birthday "you feel like home." God, what a powerful and creative compliment!  I have since redelivered that compliment to several other of my best friends in years past.  For nearly 8 years, I have always come back to that idea when I feel like I am out of touch or overworked in the areas of financial producer, consumer, and overachiever, I can connect to the things that "feel like home."  After living in Kansas City, Lawrence, Seattle, and St. Louis, I have realized the same types of people, objects and places feel like home to me.  I have met the same people that love to dream big, love with an open heart, laugh, dance, gather together and create over and over again no matter what my mailing address is..  These are the people that create the aspects of home to me.

  Since I have lived a mostly nomadic existence during the majority of my 20's, the concept of home has always been conceptual to me.  I think it is about the quality of the people you consider your urban family, the meaningful activities you do with them, and the beautiful objects you might acquire that reminds you of home, i.e., objects that are meaningful.  Photos frames are meaningful, antiques are meaningful, funky clothes feel like home because it reminds me of my friends and what our core values are: creativity and flair, pastry cutters, my various asian tea mugs ),  my trader joe's pumpkin spice
pancake mix, etc. All these things create meaning for me through the experience 

I live next door to Kakao Chocolate.  They make beautiful pieces of chocolate.  Luke brings me pieces of Kakao chocolate when he knows I have had a crappy day.

Grethen Rubin explores this concept further in her book when she talks about the difference between being materialistic and things "feeling like home."  She states:

"My goal, then, is to rid our home of things that didn't matter, to make more room for the things that did.  For September, I undertook two complementary tasks: first, to identify, arrange, and spotlight meaningful possessions; second to get rid of meaningless stuff."

Here are more photos from today of things/moments that feel like home to me because the things they stand for  represent my idea of home: things that are familiar, cozy, warm, life giving, community, and creative driven:

Shyla's flower headband.  I love handmade girly head wear.  

Colored scarves remind me of the brightness that exists in life and the sort of people and experiences I like to find as I travel through life.  Turns out, I can find this much meaning in scarves.  

Short bangs remind me of so many people in my life that I love and are creative and thriving from all the various places I have lived that I have considered home.  It also reminds me of the movie Amelie and the wide-eyed character that started the bang trend again more then a decade ago..

Taking  Shyla to Trader Joe's to buy flowers for a fun meal for the family made these sunflowers recreate meaning for me
because she picked them out and said "flower yellow" as we walked by.  Her face lit up when I pulled them out.  Sunflowers remind me of my up bringing in Kansas and the Autumn.  The fact that Shyla picked those out gives it even more meaning.

Of course animal crackers feel like home.  Who doesn't have a fun memory of eating animals crackers at ANY moment in life.  I hope animal crackers remind Shyla of home someday too.

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