The notion of home is entirely arbitrary…and that’s what makes it so gosh darn amazing. You can feel at home in your loved one’s arms, or by a tree in a park, or in a boat. (But why would you live in a boat?)
We all aspire to feel like we’re connected with our surroundings, and it’s that feeling of belongingness to a community that make us who we are.
Then again, who are we, as individuals? I’ve always skirted pressure to define myself. I’ve felt that it would limit me, and would force me to play by a certain rule book that I didn’t care to look into. I’ve always wanted to be multifaceted, and multitalented and just overall multi-, pretty much. I’ve always wanted to be defined in multitudes.
With the wedding, I finally felt like I’d found myself. I molded myself into the person I wanted to be and what’s more, I’d been completely present throughout the entire self recreation/refinement process. Present and deliberate (she said, with a pat on the back.)
But alas, many months have passed, and my life has changed. Some of the bouts of self-confidence I grew during the pre-wedding Katie era have stayed with me, but much of it has faded. And it makes sense. That part of my life is long gone. I’ve made the changes outwardly — I have a new name now, a new job, a new ‘do — but have I done so inwardly?
A distinct thought of immaturity passes over me when I remember decorating my new office at a new job with bridal bunting flags and wedding photos galore. It felt like I was trying to build myself a time capsule — fixated on creating an emblem of that perfect moment — and it felt a little creepy. Because as much as I loved that time in my life, I can’t preserve the past, especially when the future is clearly barreling through.
But I think I’ve figured it out. I kind of knew who I was for a brief time, with the whole bride-to-be business. So if I know I’m not that person anymore, the next natural step is to figure out who I am now. And yes, that entails the dreaded task of defining myself.
I want so much to be at home with myself. I want to close my eyes, and breathe in deep, and know exactly where I stand. I want to feel as if I’ve arrived, and I want others to feel it too. Then when I’m wrapped in a moment filled with meaning, I can say with certainty, “This must be Sauer Place.”
Sauer Place. The phrase is rooted in my great grandfather’s identity — a nearby street in Rochester for which he was named — and it rises to the tune of the Talking Heads song, “This Must Be the Place.” The song, which the Mister and I listened to endlessly on our honeymoon, reminds me that I have a home forever, in his arms.
The “must be” part is just for me, because I absolutely must believe in myself and who I’m setting out to be.
My advice to you, is to figure out who it is that you want to be. Start brainstorming names, cultivating personas, drafting identities. It takes some time, but you’ll find one that fits. And in the meantime, it’s kind of fun trying to figure it out.