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Finding Your Place

This week, tell us about a place that has helped shape who you are.

Image courtesy of Mixed Bag

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I’ve always been interested in people’s evolving relationships to the places they’ve visited and loved, or once called home. In a short personal essay called “Home,” Hema Nataraju at Mixed Bag describes a trip to India, and how she reacquaints herself with its chaotic streets and intoxicating scents, her old childhood haunts, and her family.

Although I’ve never been to India, much of Hema’s writing resonates with me, transporting me to places that have molded me the way India shaped her. Her writing is relatable and evocative, and I appreciate how she expresses a sense of disorientation in a place . . .

The city has burgeoned beyond recognition. I feel unmoored, like a feather flying in the wind. Do I even relate to this place anymore?

. . . as well as how she eventually finds and understands her place within it:

A few days pass and I find my sea legs.

Finding inspiration in Hema’s piece, bring a place — a city, country, or specific location that means something to you — to life through your words, photographs, art, audio, video, or a mix of media. The heart of this challenge, however, is to go further and show how or why this place is particularly special or complicated or even painful — how, essentially, it has helped to shape who you are.

Of course, you may tweak this challenge in a way that makes sense to you. Other ideas:

  • Tell us about a place that is a key setting in your life story.
  • Tell us about a country where you feel most at home.
  • Describe a city that challenged (or defeated) you.
  • A place you once loved is no longer the same. Why?

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  1. Hi, there! 🙂 I would like to mould this concept a bit (for the sake of my comfort). So, I met this girl in my school, one day, who changed my life and I believe that she was meant to be my best friend. So, this poem was dedicated to her; the person who showed me my true reflection in just a few moments and how she proved to be the greatest boon in my life.
    (P.S. if you feel this doesn’t fit the description much, just remember that I found her in the school and she met me every day there only XD )
    (P. P. S. and this is one of the main reasons why I loved going to that hell of a place every day)

    http://wp.me/p7Klwb-2E

    Liked by 3 people

  2. When we were military we never really had a place to call home. Most people think of home as one place, one state, one country you call your own. We moved around so often, traveled all over the world, and my husband was deployed and gone so much that nothing ever felt like “Home”. In fact, “home” was simple where we were together as a family. Please share in our fondest memories. I made this video for his retirement ceremony to show everyone exactly what home meant to us. Read about our journey and watch the video from my blog at http://wp.me/p86n4Q-cS

    Liked by 2 people

  3. To many, I’m sure, your place may be a physical place.

    A hiking trail, a grandparents old lake house saturated with memories of our loved ones or maybe a traditional family vacation getaway.

    Not for me.

    For me I’ve come to terms with the old saying – “home is where you make it”. (Or “your place”)

    The reasoning behind this powerful and enlightening angle on our beloved “places” comes from my experience of never sincerely establishing that solid rock of a foundation we take comfort in. I never was exposed to this in my childhood due to my parents and their neverending struggle to sustain a stable, physical dwelling, that I could latch onto.

    Furthermore, after parting ways from my parents household, I started my college career. These five years of my life further sunk the proverbial void injecting claws into my yearning for that solid and sacred ground I never knew but was aware existed. Aware of this by, understanding and experiencing my relationship with this concept while observing childhood friends and their families and genuinely sensing the polarity between what I knew and what I was seeing.

    Fastwording to the golden years of college, I was signing a new lease every year and ultimately paying for a “storage unit” I slept in which conditioned me to never respect the PLACES I laid my head down every night.

    After many years of instability I finally had an “ah ha” moment.

    At the time, I was in a 3 year healthy relationship with a girl that had this “place”, this comforting strong tower.

    Recalling my parents relationship, it is safe to say we do not have family orientation or traditions or get togethers. So, I would always spend the holidays, birthdays (including mine), with her family.

    They showed me my “place”, although we are no longer together and not to mistake to me for referring to their home in which they resided – it is a much more deep concept than having a stable home or being emotionally attached to a “place”.

    They peeled back the curtain on that saying, “home is where you make it”.

    They revealed to me,unintentionally, a take on life that lit my perspective up like an EDM laser show. For the first time in my life I realized that I was given a gift to give and an understanding of the insight that tripped the alarm for a personal awakening.

    You see, if we place our happiness in what we receive in this life we are bond by the gifts given by others and their choice as to when you are going to obtain what you THINK you want from them. (I’m not discrediting receiving by any means). But what I’m saying is that if we build our “place”, not in physical dwellings that we cannot carry with us, but building our “place” in the love that we share ,the support we give and the humbleness GIVEN TO US BY US! As well as, the positive impact we offer…then we can control the depth and the mobility of our “place” to never go without a foundation again and to…

    Forever reside in our “place”

    via Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Being a writer, my entire blog is about ‘finding my place’ – in life, in fiction. A sense of place is an essential part of being human (and absolutely necessary in fiction). I think scientists have recently discovered the proof of this i.e. the intrinsic importance place.

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  5. I think this a very interesting post. When we find inspiration in Hema’s piece, I think it is important to be sensitive and understanding to her own personal feelings. She is looking for someone she can relate to, and every one needs someone he or she can relate to. Not somebody who’s going to undermine their feelings or overlook their struggles, either. But, someone who cares to help them grow and make them feel confident. I find some relation to Hema’s post, but in a way that is different. I will gladly share that with you in the form of a personal essay in my next post. Well, I am still working on a book review. Hema, I would like to tell you this personally. You have a place in God’s kingdom. His love for you is unconditional that He sent His own Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay for our sins. Now, your chains are gone and you have been sent free. You have the opportunity to have a relationship with Him. The way to Heaven is through Jesus. In order to receive salvation, all you need to do is pray and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to come into your life. There is only one requirement, though: your prayer has to be sincere. The choice is yours. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i thing that is really nice post. when i read this article for one moment i thought about my self how do i feel when i go beck home. Home is home, family is family and friends are friends. No one can not replace them even if you move somwhere else and try to find an warm place to leave or try to make new friend. right now i am leaving a comment to this post and many beautiful memories are going thru my mind. thank you for making me to remind my chilhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s very difficult these days to call somewhere home. My happy place was always my place of origin (Lebanon) due to the war, civil war and political corruption it is nothing how I used to see it. It was the most pleasurable thing going back home, when you grow older you see these things clearly and then realise that I was just too young to understand. Right now the place I consider home is where my family reside in London. I have grown up here and I will never loose my roots, I travel continuously in some way searching for a new home! I am only about travels to experience various cultures and learn a little more on the values of living and how to live life to the fullest. I have travelled all over the world and will be doing a little world travel tour next year to gain more knowledge and express my Experiences.

    Overall home can be anywhere, whatever your heart feels is what I would say to follow. For me it’s when I’m around family I feel at home despite what country I am in

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  8. Hello all!

    I was born and raised in the Bronx, NYC. As you can probably gather it is one of the five boroughs of NYC. Actually, it is considered one of the poorest boroughs in NYC. Yes, this is where I come from. However, I want to point out a few important facts. The Bronx was once considered a very rich borough where many aristocrats lived and many dignitaries. The bronx is home to neighborhoods like Throgs Neck, Riverdale, Morris Park and Pelham Bay which are are all very well to do neighborhoods. None the less, there is also the South Bronx which is one of the poorest if not THE poorest neighborhood in the nation; the Bronx is widely known for the the South Bronx neighborhood thus, we are stereotyped into being the worst of the worst, the slums. I grew up in the North East Bronx the Parkchester section of the Bronx which was working to middle class. Most of the residents if not all worked a regular 9-5 and owned the homes in which they lived in and their kids went to catholic school or private school. I grew up in single parent household and I remember my mother always being at work, while I stayed home or hung out at a friend’s house. Yes, I was a latch key kid. I would say the growing up in the Bronx molded my life in such a way that I am ready for anything and very little surprises me. I was not sheltered at all. Growing up in the Bronx set the path for my life in terms of not wanting to struggle and get out of the Bronx. Although I love the Bronx, I also knew that I wanted me than what the Bronx could offer me. Being a kid from NYC you have to grow up quick, be very street smart and be ready for anything as it comes. Because of my upbringing I am a determined woman, I set goals and set out to achieve them. I do not limit myself and I go for what I want. Although there were points in my life as a kid that were rough, I do not regret being from NY , it made me into the woman that I am today.

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  9. hey…i would say INDIA is my home and i love to be a part of it because it gives me a sense of ‘UNITY IN DIVERSITY’,meeting new people helps me learn a little more everyday.. , despite different culture & different languages,stillit instills a feeling of unity and love for everyone…!!!

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