By Lilli Heintz
I have always been told that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. I did not quite understand that until I experienced it first-hand. When you hear the word, home, what do you think of? Is it the house that you grew up in and been all your life? Is it your parents’ home? Is it your own apartment or newly bought house?
For me, I have lived in the same house as long as I can remember, so naturally I called that home. I am now living in a new city and an apartment. I have been calling my apartment home while not paying attention. Someone pointed it out, and it made me realize that I call both places in Seabrook and New York home.
I call Seabrook home because everyone I love is there, it’s cozy and familiar. Seabrook is both physically home but also the feeling of home. Since that is where I have spent 16 years of my life, it will always be my home. I am surrounded by the people that mean the world to me. They have stuck with me through thick and thin, and have always been the most loving people.
I also know that city like the back of my hand. I know the shortcuts and long routes to drive by the water. I know the rotation of the red lights, and where the best views are for sunrises and sunsets. I know all the places to eat, and where I can go to see my friends. My church, that is always growing, is there. Seabrook is and will always be home.
I believe that New York is my new home because I have never felt so myself somewhere. I dress how I want, I feel comfortable in my own skin, and my heart is happy there. It is crazy that one place can hold so many emotions. It is interesting how it is the city that feels like home and not necessarily my apartment.
At some point, in Seabrook, it became increasingly hard to be comfortable in my skin. Here in New York, people don’t care who you are when walking the streets, they only care about where they have to get to next. That has helped me focus on myself and who I need to be in this world. I am the one girl that will stand there and hold the door open for people at the subway station, or even bless you after you sneeze in passing. I have even found a new church home here. God is amazing at providing a home away from home. Hillsong NYC reminds me of how my dad preaches and after the first service there I knew that was where God wanted me to hear his word.
The feeling of home can also be people. Other people have such a big toll on our hearts and minds. When you make a deep connection with someone, they can turn into your home feeling as well. When you’re with this person, everywhere you go or stay can feel like home because you are so at peace with this person. You don’t have to put on your masks, you let them know your deepest darkest secrets, and you can completely feel like yourself with them. You can have these people turn into your family that you never want to lose. A single person can change how you feel about a situation or environment, they can be your home away from home, or a long-lost sister.
Even though New Your City is always busy, it does slow down at times. That’s when I found my people here, the people that saved me. I have an amazing group of friends that I can rely on because they are always there when I need them. I have amazing agents that listen to me and help me get to where I want to be in the modeling world. I have found my New York family and they are my home. One day soon my apartment will feel like home but at least the city and its adventures are already my home.
Both of these places hold a home feeling in my heart, and I am so blessed to have these experiences. I have found people who make me feel at home and are my family. I have now realized the meaning of home, both physically and emotionally. What in your life has given you this amazing home feeling?
If you want to follow my day to day life follow me on Instagram @lilliheintz