I have long thought myself displaced.

I have lived in the Midwest for a dozen years, pointing out to anyone who would listen that I’m not from around here. I complained about the too hot and too cold weather, the lack of things to do. The lack of mountains and ocean.  I’m a Pacific Northwesterner, I would tell people. I like good coffee and own a half dozen flannel shirts. I can change lanes four times in twenty seconds. I don’t need an umbrella in the rain.

But do you know how you can tell a place is home?
When your airplane touches down and you’re both excited and calm.
Because you’re where you belong.

That’s what happened Sunday. “Open the window shade,” I instructed Brandon. I wanted to watch our descent into the heartland. I had just returned from my childhood hometown but it was here in Omaha that I belonged.

I was giddy to see my friends, to sink into my clean apartment, open a book, catch up my journal. I was excited to exhale, to live in my own space, the space I’ve created because I needed it.

My Pandora station is pumping out feel-good oldies and Holden is playing his iPad and the washing machine is churning and the sun is filtering in the window and my coffee is warm and I am at my computer, residing as myself, comfortable.

I’m learning to redefine what I thought I knew. Home, for example, is where you are at ease. In some cases, where you reside is not that place. But I have finally made mine one and the same.

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