Home is Where the Growth Is

“You must be happy to be coming home,” the lady at the coffee shop said. I was standing in a small space on Hillhurst Ave., off Los Feliz, a coffee shop that I’d frequented 33 years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles.

“Well, I didn’t live here long enough for it to be home,” I said, in that irritating way I can have when perfectionist precision beats out big-picture acceptance.

Later, as I continued my walk, I thought about it. No doubt, the short time I spent in Los Angeles had echoed changes through my life. I came into my own here, accepted myself as a writer, realized that not wanting to become a nurse did not make me the bad person my mother insisted, and basically, grew up.

I’ve lived in many places in my life, and made a home in all of them. Contrary to surveys, that only allow you one home, you can have many. Is my son’s home Georgia because he was born there, even though I left when he was less than a year old?

There have been homes I’ve loved and hated to leave, and homes I’ve lived in because it is where I wound up. Each has contributed to the life I’ve led. Each home has a story and leaves a mark.

Much of it depends on the decisions you make, the mark you leave yourself. I will always love Los Angeles for the growth I experienced here. There are other homes I love for other reasons–places where I was happy, sad, understood, rejected–all of which taught me something new and pushed me into shape.

Now I’m in Phoenix and that will be home. Not because I chose to live there, but because I’m making a life there, a life that will take me in a new direction of growth.

–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach who develops and teaches communication programs. See her work at QuinnCreative.com (c) 2007 All rights reserved.