Over the course of my life, I have moved something like 13 times. For a 17 year old, that’s a lot.

Many of my friends and acquaintances have expressed extreme nervousness for moving to a new place or adjusting to a new home. Even just sleeping in a different environment for a night or two is uncomfortable and foreign for them. I have always noticed feeling a lot different than they were expressing to be feeling to me but I always filed it in the ‘coincidence’ file and moved on. They didn’t like being away from home when it truly didn’t bother me… no biggie. However, lately, as I have considered moving away for the summer and then again in the fall, it has become more than a coincidence. Often people follow my answer to “where are you going in the fall?” with “oh wow, are you nervous?” or “do you think you’ll miss home?”. But what really is home for me?

Obviously, the completely natural shift and adjustment to so many different versions of ‘home’ meant something. Why could I spend one night in a different place, sleep extremely well, and feel totally comfortable and laid back while others had completely opposite experiences? Why could a spot on a river or a spot on top of a hill or the sound of water running or lightning feel like home to me?

I guess home meant more than: “a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household” to me. Out of the 31 definitions of ‘home’, number 17 was the one that truly hit home for me. (Clever, right?) Number 17 defines home as: “deep; to the heart”. That is truly spot on in my case. Due to the ridiculous amount of times that I have moved in my life, adjusting to new places, environments, and people has never been something that I have struggled with. There are, of course, first day jitters and initial meeting nerves but I am able to quickly acclimatize.

Home to me, being deep and to the heart, has been anything from songs to people to places throughout the years. Freezing cold mountain rivers and lakes are home. My mom and dad are home. Singing and dancing while cleaning dinner dishes with my family is home. Climbing trees is home. Taking care of sweet little children is home. Listening to my favorite music and watching the sunset from hilltop with my sister is home. Visiting extended family up north is home. Summer trips to Gabriola Island is home. Playing and listening to the piano is home. Learning and growing my brain is home. Walking in the sunshine is home. Rain on the roof is home. Lengthy heart to hearts with my best friends are home. I am now lucky enough to physically live in the national park which I have considered home for so long.

I have made it a goal of mine to not only do what I love, but also to love what I do. I believe that this attitude that I try to adopt more and more every day has helped me find and define home. I am comfortable because I am happy. I am happy because I have chose to be happy.