Home is anywhere with you

Photo courtesy of Jacob Jardel

Photos courtesy of Jacob Jardel

Jacob Jardel
Assistant Managing Editor

As I pulled out of my best friend Tori’s driveway, “To Have a Home” from “A Very Potter Sequel” playing on my car speakers, I started to think about home.

“Home – I’ve heard the word before,” it started. “But it’s never meant much more than just a thing I’ve never had.”

Two weeks before then, my good friend Jack and I had conversation about this very topic. He was home with his parents in Ohio, working for a local news station and having a generally good life.

Except he wanted to come home to Cameron – to the people he knew and loved.

“A place,” the song continued, “But I’ve never had a place to even know, or a face that I could go to if I needed someone there.”

Since that conversation with Jack, I’ve pondered the concept of home and its different meaning for different people. To some, it’s a domicile or a dorm. To others, it’s a town with family or with history.

Yet, with every story I’ve heard about people’s homes, the common thread is the start in the physical that leads to a conversation about the sentimental – the Where fades into the Who, What, Why and How.

The location barely scratches the surface of something even deeper.

So I started to think about my own home – where I live with my grandparents, where I have lived with them and my mother and where I’ve come from with the multitude of family members over the years.

We’d gone through a lot, but we had each other. Even if we may not always show it outwardly, we do love each other and stick with each other through tough times.

However, as much as I love my family, I have yet to feel that surge of homely feeling many get with their families. There is nothing wrong with my family, I never really felt a demonstrative pull of home like many people do or have with their families.

Then I came to Cameron. Then I met and got to know some amazing people. Then I realized just how much my family by choice really meant to me.

“To think it’s been here all along,” the track played, “somewhere to belong, and a reason – a something to believe in.”

This concept has been at the forefront of my thinking for the last three weeks. Talking with Jack and reading the things he has posted on Facebook got me to thinking just how big of a family our group really is – how much I’ve wanted that deeper familial connection from outside my biological family.

“I used to dream about it,” the singer belted, “but never schemed or counted on fantasies or wishes. It breaks a man to see what he misses. So many nights I’d pray for a better life and better day, but I never thought it’d come true.”

So, as I turned off the street, I thought about a phrase I heard from a professor freshman year about how you make your lifelong friends in college. Now, I finally see that saying coming to fruition in the most unexpected of ways.

“It’s finally here, and I don’t know what to do,” the song played.

“And I’m trying not to cry.”

Too late for that – my eyes started leaking the minute I hit the highway.

Yet, when I look back at it, I thought about the other times I cried taking in some sort of media – mostly episodes of loss in one of my favorite television shows and heartfelt ESPN feature pieces. They all featured similar common threads: the concepts of family and home.

I guess it made sense that I started welling up during that song, then. After all, though I was heading home, I was leaving home. However sad I may have been, I knew something happy was going on in my life to make me feel that way.

As the song flourished to an end and I cursed myself for getting emotional again, I remembered the people I met at Cameron who have stuck with me – the Jacks, the Toris and the countless other names that would fill this page – and I knew they would understand.

They feel the same way.

“I’ve finally made it. I’ve hoped and I’ve waited,” the track concluded. “And for the first time in my life, I don’t feel so alone. My heart starts to heal to know this is real. This is how it must feel to have a home.”

Photos courtesy of Jacob Jardel

Photos courtesy of Jacob Jardel



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