At the end of the day, home isn’t where the heart is - it’s where you make the biggest personal investments of your time and energy. We typically live very decentralized lives. I know I do anyways. In the past I’ve found myself working 30 minutes from where I live. Commuting 45 minutes in another direction to go to a church, and traveling 45 minutes in yet another direction to meet with friends. I end up living “strategically located” somewhere in the middle, which easily ends up feeling a bit like no man’s land. That’s not how home should feel.
Maybe this doesn’t perfectly describe your situation, but I bet you can identify with some parts of it. We all dream of living in close proximity to the friends, groups, and activities that fulfill us. But it’s easier said than done. It’s easy to find a job, friendship, activity, or place to live that seems like it would be fulfilling. Cinching these things together so that they are all adjacent however is very complicated.
But maybe it’s not a matter of drawing these things together around yourself. Maybe it’s more about finding the one thing that’s most important and learning to make sacrifices so that you can be truly present to it. Often I end up living my live in an attempt to avoid discomfort. Which is why I find myself running all over the landscape of Denver, trying to find groups and activities that make me feel comfortable. But when those groups are far from home, it creates a new sense of discomfort, in that you don’t have a true home.
Trying to put down roots all across a city doesn’t allow you to anchor yourself deeply into one location. The reason I am even willing to connect with groups and relationships that are distant, is in hopes that they will be able to bear, accept, and help me establish my true identity. It’s difficult to develop an integrated self when you commute to various groups that each hold their own piece of who you are. You end up feeling more scattered and disconnected than ever. I think it’s a matter of finding the one thing that’s important to you and anchoring yourself based on that. Whether it’s your work, your friends, or proximity to nature and adventure, I think we all need to find what our “taproot” is to help establish a home for ourselves and grow into our lives based on that. Trying to establish multiple root systems is just so exhausting and unproductive.
I’m working on centralizing my life right now. Trying to find that one strong taproot to be grounded with. It will inevitably involve some sacrifices to get there. It will be difficult watching some of the roots I’ve established wither away. But if sacrificing some comforting groups, experiences, and relationships is what it takes to become a more integrated individual… I’d say it’s worth it.