by Brandi Nicholson-Burley
\ ˈhōm \
Definition of home
(Entry 1 of 6)
1a: one’s place of residence:
It’s June of 2020, and the world was in the middle of a pandemic. What was assumed to be only a couple of months of quarantining and stay at home orders, had signs of continuing through the rest of the year, at least. Like many families in the US, quarantining brought upon many added stressors at home, and mine was no different. By the middle of June, I found myself without residence- homeless.
2: the social unit formed by a family living together:
My sister, who just moved out of our previous home due to the stressors above, welcomed me into her new apartment with her best friend/roommate. I was upset about a lot of things going on in my life; upset about the pandemic, upset about what transpired at our previous home, upset about my lack of income, upset about my past and imagined future. My sister and her roommate provided a slice of joy, inspiration, and motivation in this dark time of my life. During my 4 weeks there, I began formulating a stability plan, including finding a new job and a new home.
Due to my lack of income, I increasingly began feeling like a burden to my sister and her roommate. After all, why would they want to house me after just moving in themselves? I thought, “I know they want to spend their time in their new apartment without someone on their couch.” My negative thoughts got the best of me, and I was feeling like a burden in my other social circles, too. I decided to leave my sister’s place and stay at a shelter.
During my 7-week stay at the shelter, I truly realized how much of a home it was for the women living there. Not only did it provide literal shelter, for many of the ladies, it provided a family. They did routine tasks such as cleaning and eating- together. They laughed with one another and stood up for one another. I watched as the women, who are often dehumanized and stigmatized due to their transitional situation, share their troubles and celebrate their triumphs.
Does home have to be where you permanently lay your head? Or can it be more than that?
3a: a familiar or usual setting: congenial environment:
In August, things started looking up for me. After coming to the realization that I thoroughly enjoyed being in the realm of education, and after applying/interviewing/being considered for jobs, I was recommended to a job that I would feel at home in- this one. (Reach out to us if you need help finding your next job.)
After my interview with Goodwill, I could very easily envision myself as a Career Facilitator for Youth and was thrilled about how much it aligned with what I’ve done and enjoyed in the past. Looking back on it, on my second interview with our very own Jenifer Garey, I felt. . .home (albeit nervous).
Needless to say, I ended up getting this job. And a couple of weeks after that? I ended up getting an apartment. Even though 2020 was rough, I couldn’t be more grateful.
1: relaxed and comfortable: at ease:
And as of right now, I’m leaving 2020 behind and heading into 2021 feeling at home.
2: in harmony with the surroundings:
I feel at home in my new abode, knowing that I can take care of myself and make this place my own.
3: on familiar ground: knowledgeable:
I feel at home in my new job as I learn the ins and outs of my employer and strengthen the skills I already possessed.
Definition of home (Entry 2 of 6)
1: to or at one’s place of residence or home (see HOME entry 1 sense 1a)
So, while I’m working from home, writing this blog. . .
2a: to a final, closed, or ultimate position
b: to or at an ultimate objective (such as a goal or finish line)
. . .I wanted to close with the moral of the story, which is this: home has a variety of definitions, and a lot of meaning. “Home,” can be your place of residence. “Home,” can be in the company of friends.
3: to a vital sensitive core
“Home,” can be true to your core and inside of you. Hopefully, the different definitions of home can provide solace to you as we head into a new year. May you all find your “Home,”- whatever that looks like to you- in 2021.