The fall I moved to St Andrews was the fall after the 2012 Summer Olympics. I like watching the gymnastics, and I remember that the Summer Olympics Gymnastics theme song was Phillip Phillip’s “Home.” They played it with the advertisements and after every commercial break. I loved it.
I bought the song when I moved to St Andrews, and played it on repeat any time I felt sad or lonely — Phil assured me that he’d make this place my home, and I think listening to it slowly, over the first several weeks, made me believe that St Andrews was my home. It helped me make it my home.
Did you read that? I made it my home.
All of these posts have been saying the same thing: home is where you make it. It’s all about mindset and attitude.
It starts with a decision. Then you can really sink your fingers into the place, — like handfuls of wet sand oozing through your fingers and sticking to your skin — connecting with it on every possible level and savoring every moment.
I haven’t always been good at it — St Andrews is one of the few places I’ve naturally put it into practice. Ever since high school, I’ve had the mindset that whatever situation I am in is temporary.
In high school I knew college would take me away. But college is four years, and I knew I wouldn’t stay in California. Because of these frequent changes, I’ve had a hard time making myself believe my time in Michigan will last more than three or four years.
But whether it will or won’t doesn’t matter. Sadly I’ve stopped myself from really connecting and getting settled in a lot of these places in an attempt to protect my heart. But it has deprived my heart more than anything.
Have you ever heard the saying “Home is where the heart is”? Of course you have. It has been framed and hung on countless walls and embroidered and tossed on innumerable couches.
I think the generally accepted interpretation of the phrase is that home is where your loved ones are — where you’ve made memories and developed relationships. A place you miss when you’re away.
That’s all well and good, but I think it means something deeper. Home is where your heart is. Your literal heart. Home is wherever you are.
If you are there, make that place your home by making it a place with memories and relationships. And remember that those connections are always in your heart — even when you leave. It’s a home in your heart. In your head. Sometimes I feel like I left my heart in St Andrews. But that’s just not true. Instead of St Andrews keeping my heart, I’m keeping St Andrews in my heart.
This is making a home in your own head: collecting memories and friends and developing a sense of curiosity and wonder and love for wherever you are. If you can do that, you’ll never be without your home.