I’ve Never Felt As Home As I Do Right Now

Today I stepped off the plane at JFK after a flight home from the Bay Area where I grew up and I teared up from an overwhelming feeling of comfort that I was home. It was a feeling of relief, of excitement, and of security. As I felt this I texted two of my best friends and told them that “I don’t think I’ve ever felt as home as I do right now.” I told them that I’ve never truly had this strong of a sense that a place is mine. 

I have love for my family, my friends, and for the town I grew up in. I learned most of my lessons there and some of my greatest and most meaningful relationships are from there. But it was a town that was chosen for me- it isn’t a town that I chose for myself or dreamed about living long term. Both my parents left their hometowns and I always figured I would too. 

I went to college in San Francisco and spent 4 years falling in love with the pace of that city-- I made deep and meaningful relationships with open minded and driven people. I loved San Francisco. But it never felt like it was mine.

I moved to New York when I was 22. I have flown back and forth between NYC and The Bay Area a dozen times at this point. I’ve visited my parents, my family and friends who live there. We laugh, we reminisce. It’s usually a good visit- but I’m often excited to get back and keep building the life I’ve been trying to build. 

Today, I got off the plane and had a moment. A moment where I got to realize that at this point, the life I’ve been trying to build is at now well on its way. My dream life has its foundation, it’s frame, and right now I feel like I’m getting to see it really come together-- this makes me very emotional. 

I have been building and building for almost 5 years now. I have been wanting to have this feeling that I have right now for almost 5 years. And today I realized I feel more home than I ever have in my entire life. 

It’s because I built this. This is my life that I myself have built. I moved myself to New York and found a job I could get passionate about. I worked at that job and put myself in a position where I like my work every day, and put myself in a place where I could (finally) move into my own apartment- no roommates, no 5th floor walk up, close to work, in a fun and cool neighborhood. I have friends that I actually love, and I love spending time with them. I trust people. I have a Chinese food place that I frequent, a laundry place I’m devoted to. And I’m really happy with this life day to day.

I’ve never felt as “home” as I do right now. I’ve never known this feeling I have now. And it is so cool that I feel this. I’m so excited to have been able to build this and feel this and experience this. It feels groundbreaking. It feels secure & calm. And I know I’m doing the right thing. 

Benjamin Hawes