Leaving Home

We’ve talked a lot this month about home and what it means to us and to our favorite characters, whether its a concrete space or a concept, and how important home is, to both people and plots. As the holidays fast approach, I realized its also very difficult to leave home.

Like many of my generation, I’ve moved a number of times. I’ve been married for 13 years and out of high school for…more than 13 years. But, when asked where I’m from, I will often still reply, “Maine.” Or, I’ll mention to my husband that we should fit in a visit home (meaning my parents house, where I grew up)–and he’ll look at me quizzically while he translates. Now, I refer to my own house as home, too. Why is it so hard to give up that place we think of as “home”?

In the same vein, I often struggle when a favored author discontinues a series. S/he takes away that virtual “home,” that place where I know I can go and explore well-loved characters, in a setting that is as familiar to me as my own home (either of them). I find I go through an abbreviated grieving process, as I learn to accept that nothing more will be happening in that virtual home, and tell myself I will love whatever new and interesting place that favored author creates. Hopefully.

So, why is it so difficult, I wonder, to really leave home? I don’t actually have an answer. I suspect it has to do with comfort and predictability, those things that bring stability or provide anchor. We humans do not, as a whole, enjoy change. I think I refer to my parents’ house as “home” because it was such a good, happy place for me. For the same reasons, my current house is also “home.” I love returning to my house each day, or after a vacation. And it’s lovely to return to those favored series, too, that make me feel happy.

Whatever the reason, I’m so glad to have so many “homes!”

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Author: Pamela A. Oberg

Pamela is a portfolio manager at an educational assessment company by day, writer by night. Founder of Writers on Words (a discussion and critique group), Pamela enjoys spinning tales of murder and mayhem, with an occasional foray into the world of the paranormal.

3 thoughts on “Leaving Home”

  1. Yes, when a series ends, book or TV, I do feel like I’ve lost a home in a way. I got hooked on Sookie novels. Now they’re gone. And the X-Files. Oh, so sad to lose. Home is a protagonist you love going through a familiar, yet different-each-time set of challenges.

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  2. Great post. I’ve got a few places that are “home” – where I live now, my parents’ house where I grew up, and the place I went to college. I feel the same way about a great series. I almost cried at the last episode of “Lewis” – because I enjoyed spending time with those characters so much and now I don’t get to do that. You get to keep the old stuff, but there’s still great sadness in knowing there’s no “new” stuff to look forward to.

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  3. I hadn’t thought about a series as a home before but you are SO right. And that grieving process is very real! (Sookie and X-Files are two of mine, too, Theresa! Also Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)

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