Home. Most people view home as a place. Some people, once they move out for the first time, say that home is a feeling. I have decided that home is all about the people that surround you.
I went back to my childhood home in Rochester, MN, for a mere 40 hrs Wednesday night to Friday mid-afternoon. My main purpose was to dance, but I also tried to see as many people as I could within that time. Only about 9 hours of my time was spent sleeping (over two nights…oops!), 11 were spent in the studio and the rest were spent with people.
Physically speaking, when I was ‘home’ and in my room it didn’t feel quite right.
My room doesn’t feel like my room anymore. Aside from my bed, there is nothing really there that makes me feel I belong for more than a few hours. Pretty soon, come fall, my bed will be gone too and it really will not feel right. My kitchen table was where I spent most of my time. Talking with my parents. That felt like home. A safe place. A comforting place. A loving place. But move a month back and bring me to Iowa (the last time I went ‘home’), where I was with my grandparents, uncle, his friend and my cousins, along with my parents and sister…that also felt like home. That was where my family talked and caught up on life. It was comforting and loving and safe because of the comforting and loving people that I was with.
The studio is also my home. Ballet Blake. Daniel Blake. Julie Blake. Children’s Dance Theatre. Sheila Sullivan. The CDT Board. CDT dancers. Continental Ballet. Riet Velthuisen. The company dancers. All of these places; all of these people; I have known for as little as eight months up to only three years. I grew up dancing other places, but these places have become my ballet homes. When I am surrounded with these people I have a warm feeling in my heart that I am where I belong for at least a little while.
Two of my favorite people that I got to know up in Duluth were in Rochester for those 40 hours as well. They support me and love me and have helped me follow my dreams. No matter where or how often I see them I know that my heart is at home.
I also had the pleasure of seeing some of my best friends, and past coworkers, and my favorite little kiddos. Add that onto the list of my dance teachers, and parents and biggest supporters and I know that “Home is wherever I’m with you.” [Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes] My ‘you’ is a long list of people and for that I am so very grateful.
I feel at home in many places these days, whether it be Duluth, Rochester, Saint Paul, sometimes Iowa, and sometimes it only takes a coffee shop. The place isn’t what matters. It’s the people that help build me up, and make me feel happy. The people who I can love and support right back that help me know that I am where I belong.