1. Vegas Trip. Vegas is the first place that ever really felt like home. Before Vegas, it was all scattered wanderings. Vegas was my first community. It crushed me to leave, but I had no other choice. I was newly pregnant and, well, a junkie. I was not going to be able to quit if I was still entrenched in a social group where keeping a kid away from drugs meant just not leaving them on the coffee table.
2. Lots of Florida travel this year. Florida's where I went after Vegas - to my parents' house, which was not so much a home when I was growing up. I accidentally referred to Florida as "home" recently. And it's not. It's where I was born. It's where I grew up, when I wasn't in junior loony bins and wilderness survival camps and group homes. But it wasn't so much home. When I returned, it was ground zero of a crappy marriage to a guy who was pretty much stealth psycho, and since much of the community grew from that... well, there are people I don't talk to anymore. All of my Florida community is new. All since...
3. The Internet. A stay-at-home mom for two years, I needed something to do while I pumped breast milk... so I discovered the internet, and fell into communities like Tamson House, where I met my future and totally awesome husband (among other totally nifty folks), and the Bordertown BBS, where I met people who are dear friends to this day. I suppose you could say that the Internet was the second place that felt like home to me. Still does.
4. Atlanta. I moved to Atlanta to be with said totally awesome husband. And... it never fit. I wouldn't exchange the experience for anything; Elayna had a great elementary school there, and I made some fast friends who I still miss. But I was totally alone the first year or so, save for Adam, and jobless for the first three months. I was just coming out of the previously-mentioned really bad marriage, my ex-husband was still stalking me (driving 12 hours to stalk one's ex shows commitment, at least), and I felt adrift without a social network, a support system. That's when I got on LJ, and why - to communicate better with the people I'd left behind in Florida. LJ's how I found local friends and built a community there... one that ignited several times, as there are some batshit crazy people in Atlanta, but I did find some wonderful people. Thoughts of Atlanta were prompted this weekend by the presence of ewin, who I met through the writing-marathon group at RetroHaven, and hypnagogie, who lives in NY now. (So many of us moved away. Rin, Karla, Ed...)
5. Boston. Third true home. I first visited Boston as an adult for Arisia 2004, escaping an Atlanta dramasplosion. Fell in love with the city, and with one of the denizens thereof. The latter only lasted a year, but led me to the Boston geek-and/or-poly community I was lauding yesterday. Felt like home immediately. (Also, benefits of being in a community of people who've known each other for 20+ years? The bugfuck nuts people have been nudged aside. Well, most of them. But that's a long story.) I gradually realized, thanks to the 'net and the Boston crowd, that most of my friends and support system were in the Northeast. This, at a time when I was feeling ever more isolated in Atlanta, and really needed better medical options. Welcome to Boston. We can has doctors. And public transit. The person who originally started the "move to Boston" chant... long story, as I said. But even after that madness, I asked people in the community: "Should I still do it?" and the answer was a resounding yes from all quarters. (And some offers to pre-screen future partners.) So we did it.
It is worthy of note that there are only two cities I've every had a sense of direction in: Vegas and Boston. Never figured out how to get anywhere in Atlanta. When I was asked, during a birthday trip to Boston, what direction something was in, I surprised myself by pointing and rattling off directions. So... yeah. This was home. :)
Vegas... you can read about my love for Vegas in Places You Haunt and Walking on Water. It is a town of multiple faces, candied and sick and harsh and unforgiving, and what I write about is not the Strip, it's about what happens when Vegas strips you down to the bone. Who are you, when there is no pretense?
Boston is where my community is. Boston is streets of brick and stone and surprises in alleyways and bits of wonder everywhere.
They're both geographic home. Florida is home of habit. Boston's social home.
And the 'net?
I imagine myself invisible and immaterial. I imagine being able to reach through this series of tubes and hug tablesaw and ojouchan in California, spend the day with azhure in Australia, geek out with themaskmaker and haikujaguar in the same place. I imagine curling up with Spooky, with harkalark. Playing with gwynraven's cats. And for all that Boston is Home to me, I'm also a child of the aether. I find home with so many people in so many places. This is, perhaps, why I can never feel rooted to any one place. Much as I love where I am now, where I am means I don't get to see felisdemens on a daily basis. So... I'm perpetually a little bit wistful.
Where is your Home? Why is that home? Do you live there now? Tell me about it.