The Meaning Of Home

It has become our family tradition.

Every Memorial Day weekend we make the trip from near or far, gathering together at my family’s beach house in Ocean City, NJ. My sister and her fiancé, her best friend who I’ve known since birth and is like a second sister to me, new friends and old friends who come and go throughout the weekend, my Dad, and in recent years my stepmom and her family. The weekend has seen different relationships and significant others over the years. But the house has stayed the same, and the sense of peace it brings me every time I pull into the driveway will never go away – it only seems to get stronger with time.

I’m not the type of person to stay in one place. I get restless. I have a tendency to pick up my life and move on a whim, most recently to Austin. After spending this past weekend with my favorite people in the world at our beach house, it was more difficult than ever to say goodbye. I found myself questioning my decisions, asking why I do this to myself… move halfway across the country, disappear for long periods of time, escape into the vast wide open that is life on this huge planet. Over the years, the concept of home has become more and more distant. The house I grew up in is now someone else’s home, the neighborhood in Philadelphia where I spent a solid chunk of time (5 years is a long time for me), feels foreign to me now. There’s no touch point, no place I can call my own there.

But in Ocean City, in this house, with these people… that is something that I will hold on to forever. My soon to be brother in law put it into perspective well on the morning I left, when he, my sister, and I took a walk down to the beach one last time. Being away from your “home,” wherever or with whomever it may be, only makes it that much more special when you’re there. If I stayed, if I kept myself from following that feeling in my gut, I may not appreciate it as much as I do now – I may even resent it. We’re so lucky to have this place, and this love that we feel when we’re all together. I’m ok with being away from it for a while, with the knowledge that every once in a while I get to experience pure magic.

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Some photos by Brigette & Jana

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5 years ago

This is beautiful! Family get aways are such an important, amazing thing.

Warm Regards,

5 years ago

such a beautifully reflective post. i love the word home. for me, it means going within and being myself with a deep level of respect, unconditional love, and acceptance. when i am in that safe place where i can be my full authentic self, that’s the place that i call home. thank you for sharing.

The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale

5 years ago

Wow..I totally get this. Ever since getting married, I have lived away from home and then finally moved across the country. I definitely feel like I appreciate home and family in a different way than I might if I never left. I actually shared about it here:

5 years ago

This post really resonated with me and these images are incredible. It’s so brave of you to share your family and your heart with us strangers and that makes the message that much more powerful. Wishing you the best in your searching and journeys

5 years ago

Ahh, so beautiful. Reminds me of a lyric from Laura Marling. “Maybe I like pleasure/pain of going and coming back again.” <3

5 years ago

Home is so important to me. But I feel as if it’s different for everyone. Home is where the mind feels happy in.

5 years ago

“Home is, where your heart is” never was more true <3

5 years ago

I am a Spanish girl and I have lived in different places around Europe, different countries / different languages. And I totally can relate! I never put this feeling/thought in words, and after reading this text I can’t stop thinking about it!

5 years ago

This is so beautiful and reflective.

5 years ago

Love the FP blog & the family post. Hands down my fave.

5 years ago

Travelling and moving away always makes coming home so much better! This is such a beautiful post with beautiful photos to accompany it.
The Student Traveller

4 years ago

Excelente. Parabens!!!