Friday, May 13, 2011
School is done. For good. As I've been applying for jobs and contemplating the imminent possibility of leaving Canada yet again, I've been thinking a lot about the concept of home. I've lived in London, Ontario for five years, but it is not my home. I love this town, but I've lived in a lot of places, and I know when it is time to move on.
The other night one of my fellow MAJ graduates asked me if I considered Toronto home (where I went to high school) or Sénégal home (where I grew up and where my family currently lives). In my mind I added a third place to the list: Newfoundland, where I was born and where much of my extended family on my mother's side still lives. Which is home? Where do I belong?
In a creative writing class in my last year of undergrad I penned a personal essay on this topic. Unfortunately, it was temporarily lost on a crashed hard drive that I have not yet been able to recover. But a little less than a month ago, Jenn, one of my missionary friends in Sénégal, used the last few lines from the essay in one of her blog posts. I was shocked and honoured that she had kept the quote for more than a year, then remembered it to put in her blog! The words hit home for me, reminding me that as a journalist, where my home is has to be my choice.
“Home, I have come to understand, does not only have to be “where the heart is”. It can be anywhere that you decide to live, and live well. You make a place your home when it becomes a point of purpose, of decision, and of life. You make home, wherever that may be, and it travels with you. Home, in my experience, is a verb.”