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The perfect home to me makes no sense on a decorative level. There’s no pattern or structure, what you see on the walls is the manifestation of space and time. Photographs, knick-knacks and random electronic artifacts. A junk drawer here, an empty bookshelf there. That one room you weren’t allowed to go into, that one couch covered in plastic. The perfect basement for hide-and-seek, a backyard large enough for all of your cousins to play in. Maybe a stoop where you sit until all hours of the night. Or a porch where the matriarch of the family resides during the day. Or a motel when money is tight. Or a homeless shelter when you have nowhere else to go. Because home varies for the economical of us alike.

Home occupies space. People occupy a home. Home doesn’t always have a physical address. Home is where your heart is. Someone else’s house can feel like home. If you let Luther tell it, a house isn’t a home.

Home is geographical. It’s where your accent comes from, your style and your walk. Your favorite food, your favorite music. Your own music, only unique to where you are from. Go-Go, House, Club, Bounce, Bass. All Identifiers alike. Trains or planes. Highways or one-way streets. Street lights or stop signs. Four wheels or eight.

Home speaks to you in a language that only you can understand. You know when something is not okay. You know when it hurts, you know when it’s too full. You know when it deserves a much need renovation. You know when it no longer can serve your needs.

Home sounds like a person. People can be a home.

You can feel space around people, you can feel safe in a home. You can feel at ease around others, you can feel at ease at home. You can feel like an outcast around others, you can feel like an outsider in your own home. Your home has a heartbeat. Your home aches when stressed. Your home carries love ones. Your home exists to be filled with love.

What is home to you?

I know what it is for me.

My home is DC. My home is Philly. My home is Pittsburgh. My home is Thursday night Bible Study. My home is my apartment. My home is my host family’s house on the Northside. My home is my friends. My home is my sisterhood. My home is occupied by the Black women who shape me to be my best. My home is occupied by my brothers and sisters in faith who influence me to be better.

My home is PNC Park on weeknights. My home is blasting through my earphones. Backyard, Junkyard, Rare Essence and the like. My home is Freeway, Young Chris, Beanie Sigel. My home is ROOT Sports broadcasts during the summertime.

My home is safe. My home is safety. My home exists for me to feel safe.

My home knows my past in order to better itself. My home is a reflection of who I am and who I continue to be.

Home isn’t a physical space. It’s the embodiment of everything that makes you who you are. It’s what surrounds you. People, places, things. It’s where you belong.

You belong.

This is part of my attempt to write every day in July. You can follow the series here.

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