At what point do you start calling another place home? And is it possible to call two places home? What is it that constitutes where home is, exactly? Y’all these questions have been running through my mind because every year I leave. I’ve spent the last 6 months abroad. I’m only in Oklahoma for about half a year. Sometimes I miss Oklahoma. Sometimes I want more time away. For those of you who don’t know, I spend my summer months working in Croatia & the months after are spent traveling & visiting friends.

There are people who forget I’m gone, some who I haven’t spoken to in years come running with a hug, & some give me their very honest & unnecessary opinion. And as I sip my wine at 12a.m. on this lovely Wednesday, I just don’t think my life choices are of any one else’s concern. Any-who, there’s always one common question: “What’s it like being back & are you happy?”

Which I find to be such a silly question because I don’t really feel like I ever left home. Maybe because it’s because I leave one to go to another, if that makes sense?

Before describing what it’s like coming home, you must understand what it’s like being away for so long.

It’s almost as if the world stops spinning & you’re stuck in time. You create this other world, a mini universe within this giant one we live in. This little gem that one can only understand & believe if they’ve experienced it themselves. The real world is put on hold, seeming as if it remains the same & constant while you’re gone. As if it’s waiting for you to return before moving on or changing. Which you know is ridiculous & unfair.

But you’re somewhere else, doing other things. Adopting a new “normal.” Kind of cheating on the real world, if you will. And in this somewhere else, this other world, there is a whole community of people so different, yet so similar to you. The community, essentially built on being strangers, then friends plays a major role. A sense of family who have seen you grow & change in ways that some won’t ever understand or witness or know. And you’re happy.

But then there’s the guilt of cheating on your other world. You miss this other home. A place you’ve known for so long. A place that is so rooted in where you’ve been & who you are. You have people waiting on you. And you miss them.

And at the end of the journey, it creeps in. You’ve realized that everything has changed. You have changed. And you look back & realize that in this very moment, right here, right now, I am who I am. And I won’t be the same tomorrow, months after or even a year down the line. Because everyone changes. It isn’t something that stops after a day or two. It’s continuous & necessary for growth. And going back, expecting the world to start spinning again, to be just as you left it, is just plain DUMB.

Although things have changed & you’re not sure what to expect when you land at your final gate, there’s a sense of familiarity, comfort & peace about being home. Driving around with the windows down, stopping at your favorite places & seeing your friends. It’s nice. And you may be stuck in limbo, unsure of what to do next. Indecisive & absolutely clueless as to where your path will lead, but you’re home. And for now, that’s ok because yes, you are happy.

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Hi! I'm Dani.

A midwestern gal raised in Oklahoma & the face behind DANIYORK.com - created to share my life, loves & all the crazy in between.