When you decide to pursue what you want most in life, you’re going to have to sacrifice some things. Well, a lot of things.
When I first set out to pursue comedy in Chicago, I thought I had it all figured out. While I always knew that it would be challenging and there was a chance of failure, I thought I at least had the costs nailed down.
I was wrong.
95% of the time I’m in awe. But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. There are some unexpected costs I have come across. One major one is the concept of “home.”
For a very long time, Connecticut was my home. It’s where my family is, so it’s my home, right? I always thought I’d go back eventually… that I’d get over this fantasy and snap back to reality. When I realized that I really want to do this thing, I had to let go of this homecoming idea. My brother said it best when he told me “Well, maybe Chicago is your home now, and that’s ok.”
Ok, so Chicago is home. That’s okay, I can accept that. Until I come to the realization that to grow my career in acting and writing, I’ll probably be moving again in the next two years. So now I’m starting to realize that, like Connecticut, I might have to leave Chicago behind as well.
I’ve come to accept that my concept of home is no longer a physical place. Which is not easy. It’s nice to be tied to “home”. To know that there’s a place to go back to when things get rough. Something so inarguably yours. Something familiar to run to when you’re upset. To realize that this physical home is constantly changing is terrifing.
I got sad. I felt lonely. But then I realized that I still get that “home” feeling often and it has nothing to do with a physical place. Anytime I’m with my mom or brother, regardless of where I am, I feel at home. Each time I’m sitting at a table surrounded by my aunts, uncles and cousins, I feel at home. Every single phone call with my sister makes me feel like I’m at home. Each quick encounter with a Chicago friend who I love like family gives me that secure feeling of home. Anytime I see my best friend from kindergarten, I feel at peace and at home. Listening to Pink, watching my favorite movie, seeing live theater, performing… it all reminds me of home.
So maybe home isn’t physical for me. For anyone pursuing what I am, you start to realize that you’re always moving, always going where jobs are. A physical home becomes a thing of the past, and realizing that is a little saddening. In Rose Ave’s song, “Open Door” they sing about the loneliness of traveling for their music. They say, “I recall a time when you and I would talk a little more to each other face to face, through love and war when I knew there’d always be an open door for me. But I know, that home is just some place I always leave behind. It’s with me everywhere I go and I close my eyes. I know someday I’ll catch you in the by and by, I know.”
My home is not physical. It’s with me in those I know, and those I will come to know. My home is everything and everyone who makes me feel safe, secure and loved. And I’m fortunate that those people exist in multiple places.
So I can’t be sad that I don’t have this physical “home”… I am so incredibly loved in so many places. That’s my home.