Where In The World is My Home When It’s Not on a Map?

I’m certain you’ve heard the old phrase “home is where the heart is.”

It’s likely stitched on a pillow sitting on your Nana’s couch or written on a magnet on your aunt’s fridge. For most people it’s just a nice sentiment, because in reality they have deep roots in their town that help make it home for them.

So, what happens when your family tree never gets past the sapling stage before being uprooted and moved over and over again?

How do you define home when you’ve never been in the same place for more than a few years at a time?

Nine moves in 18 years.

Seven schools between kindergarten and high school graduation.

Growing up learning to talk in Tennessee and then moving to Maine where they think I came from a foreign county because of my accent. I was born somewhere that requires a passport for me to visit again. My extended family reaches from Pennsylvania to Florida, Louisiana to Germany.

To me, home really is where the heart is.

My friends were other military brats. They moved as often as I did. On average, the typical military family moves every three years or so. Our higher ranking officers change commands closer to every 18 months while a lower ranking enlisted Sailor gets to stay in the same place for closer to four years. That means just as boxes are finally all unpacked and a military brat finds a sense of routine, they are starting to prepare to leave and start all over.

This leaves military kids feeling as though they have no roots and for some, that leads to problems later with creating lasting relationships.

We always have this thought in the back of our head that friendships can be taken away with just another set of orders.