There's No Place Like Home ......

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...... even if it's a brand new home.
And sometimes ...... especially if it's a brand new home.
(Not new as in newly built, but new as in new to you.)

As most of you know, I've been splitting my time between Houston and New York City.
And I've loved being in NY.
I've always loved being in NY, but now I love it for additional reasons.
And the biggest reason is because ...... it's not like home.
Or rather, the place that used to be home.
Before.

If someone would've told me in the first two years of my "after" that I would soon want to leave the place that had been home to us for almost 20 years, I would've told them that they were crazy.  I could not imagine leaving our house, our/my friends ...... our community.

But it's now been almost 6 years (how can that really be possible?) since Jim died.  And time, at least for me, has changed how I feel.
I still love our/my friends and our community, but things are ...... different.
And I now have a love/hate relationship with our house.

I have no idea why I didn't feel this way from the beginning, or why it's only grown stronger over time, but my home is becoming a house.
A house that I'm starting to resent because of all of the upkeep and cost it requires.
And because he's not there.
Particularly because he's not there.
My house and my community no longer feel like home.

To me, the words "There's no place like home" have a double-edged meaning.
There's no place like home, when it hurts to be there.  No other place has the capability to cause me pain, sadness and hurt.

There's no place like home, when you know there's no other place you'd rather be.
And for me, that's the place where Jim didn't live.  He's not supposed to be there.
It's the place where people know me as Janine ...... not as Jim's widow.
It's the place where I feel 100% comfortable and 100% accepted for who I am, rather than being treated differently because of who I was, or for who I am now.

This morning I woke up in Texas.  Tonight I'm falling asleep in New York.
 When I woke up, my first thought was this:
"I'm going home today!"
 It was a thought that just popped into my head.  It wasn't even a conscious effort.  I was surprised when it happened.
Surprised and happy.

Right now, at this point in my life, for however long it lasts ...... I feel like I've finally found my new home.
I'm going to enjoy that feeling, and my new home, as long as it's there ...... which I hope is a very long time.  But if it's not, that will be OK. 
Because I know this:  If I can choose to pick up and move some place all on my own once ...... I can certainly do it again.

Because there really is no place like home.


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