Exactly two years ago, I wrote a post that explored the question “What is home?” (you can read it here). And recently, I have found myself again reflecting on this notion.
Before the holidays I was talking to a co-worker and he asked me what I was doing for Christmas and I replied that I was going home. His response: “But Dublin is your home.” And he has a point. When I was heading to Buffalo for Christmas I thought of it as “going home” but then when it was time for me to return to Dublin I thought of that as “going home” as well. So, what’s the deal? Which one is home? Can they BOTH be home?
In that previous post, I wrote about how the concept of home is different for an expat and I still find that to be the case. I still think that, for an expat, home is more a state of mind. But what I am now realizing is that one place being “home” does not exclude another place from being “home” as well – they are just perhaps different kinds of “home”. As an expat, and a single person who lives on her own as well, different places can fulfill different aspects of “home” – aspects that most people probably get from just one home.
Buffalo is home for me because of the people. My parents, sisters, nieces and nephews are there, not to mention numerous uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. I don’t have a particular attachment to Buffalo as a place, but I do like the familiarity of returning to the suburb in which I grew up. Though, as I mentioned in that previous post, I am not part of the everyday there, so at times I feel like I am on the outside looking in. So, yes, Buffalo is still home but not completely.
Which brings me to Dublin. When I wrote that first post, I couldn’t even imagine where I would be or how I would feel in two years’ time. Even thinking about it would set me into a full-blown panic attack. But now, here I am in that future that seemed so unimaginably far away then.
So, what’s the verdict? Is Dublin home?
If I were still feeling the way I did two years ago, I would probably be looking for a new country in which to live. But I am happy to report that, two years on, I do think that Dublin is home. I have a nice circle of friends, I’m doing work that I really love, I live in an adorable house – all in a city that, despite some ups and downs, has been overall very kind to me over the past two years.
I don’t know how long Dublin will be “home”. I still can’t think two years into the future without getting itchy and anxious. I think I would like to still be in Dublin in two years’ time but, if there is one thing I’ve learned as an expat, it’s that trying to predict the future is utterly useless.
So, Buffalo will always be “home” and Dublin has transformed into “home, at least for now and possibly well into the future.
We’ll see what kind of post I write in another two years…