Today's Sunday sermon was about the importance of "home." The overwhelming human need to feel one belongs, is universal. "Before we can find that feeling of being home, outside of ourselves," my minister said "we must first find that acceptance of the good, and worth, within ourselves." This lesson is particularly important today, as gay and lesbian teen suicide rates are four times heterosexual rates. I was especially proud when my minister said as much, too.
Finding acceptance within ourselves is difficult enough in our teen years. But trying to do that while others may be simultaneously sending exclusionary messages seems damn near impossible. And we all remember junior high school. Exclusionary voices can be loud. Very very loud.
It was only several months ago I left CA- where I'd spent nearly my entire life- and with it, all of my friends (my wonderful wonderful friends!), my family, my grandparents, my cousins, my job, and all things that remind me of what "home" is. And after 36 years there, I think a part of me will always consider CA home.
Will I feel at home in NC? Will I be excluded? Will I find more friends? were just some of my anxieties, as Chris and I made the move.
And there are some days I feel more at home than others. But I am also so happy to report that overall, NC does feel like home for me. Whether it's Chris, our new home together, our journey to get here, the NC culture, the forests and lakes, or a deeper acceptance of something (flawed but acceptable) I value within myself, I am "home."
And (wait for it...) Dallas definitely makes "home" just a little bit sweeter.