The word home seems so normal, but it’s loaded with so much meaning. It’s a simple four letter word we say multiple times a day, but it’s much more than a physical place where you go to sleep at night.
What is home to you? Is it your favorite vacation spot? Your childhood home? A loved one? A pet? Home is anything or anyone.
Home to me is many things. It’s spending time with my dogs, going on last minute adventures with my friends or fiance, being at the State Fair in the fall, or driving through downtown Dallas during winter nights. Each one of these things gives me a boost of serotonin and I immediately feel a sense of comfort and bliss.
The subject for this past month on our Things I’d Probably Never Say Out Loud wall was “Home is whenever I’m…” During the month-long segment, we were taken into the minds of our customers and saw what home meant to everyone. Similarly to our other topics, we had common themes and it was nice to read how people shared this feeling of home.
“DANCING” “Free!” “HAPPY =)” These three notes were straight to the point, but expressed so much passion. Having the ability to show what home means to you in one word is encouraging. I’m not sure why, but it gave me the impression that these people are low maintenance and content with the little things in life. Either way, it was refreshing to see how proud these people were with their one-word responses.
Pets were also a common message this time around. Even though the responses were candid like “with my doggie” or “at home with my kitties,” they were relatable because being with my pets gives me so much joy. I also believe my dogs are a huge part of what makes being at home actually feel like home.
An adorable shared theme was that of loved ones! We received a few responses from loving wives and husbands which got some “aww’s” from the team. Two of my favorites were “in my love’s arms… with all the fur littles piling on” and “in bed with my wife reading the paper til noon.” I tend to shy away from expressing emotions, so it was encouraging to read how open people were with their sentiments. It was uplifting and I was thankful to these people for giving me a glimpse on how they view their partners as their homes.
Spirituality and connections were another mutual thought this time around. One note that stood out to me was “connecting with my ancestors for support and guidance.” Within the last year (and with the rise of TikTok), I have seen a lot more people talking about this subject. My sister and I have even started having conversations over this and how our ancestors have shaped our identities and continue to guide us through life. I also see certain people on Twitter talking about how they’ll be speaking to and seeking advice from their ancestors almost on a regular basis. Seeing someone write this out was fascinating to me because I had mainly seen/heard about it from strangers online, so it’s pretty rad to see it becoming more common.
One of my favorite types of notes is when people draw small pictures to go along with their response. No matter how many times I’ve given drawing a try, I can never seem to get even a decent doodle, so it’s always exciting for me to see people taking the time to draw something out real quick on their notes.
Someone wrote “listening to music and reading graphic novels” inside of a speech bubble and I thought it was so cool! I’m not sure if they intended it this way, but I imagined the person did this to represent what’s in their head and how that connects to the feeling of being home. My mind instantly imagined a cartoon with the thought bubble above their head as they’re trying to think of what home is to them. Even if I’m wrong and I assumed all of this, I’m glad this person got my imagination going with a cute bubble around their note.
Others mentioned home being “lost in a good book” with a drawing of an open book, “in the woods” with a mini forest, and “eating tacos” with a pair of tacos underneath. I love how they’re all so different, but in a way they are brought together because these people chose to incorporate an image. I may be reading too much into it, but I personally think this shows a certain personality type…or even a certain type of astrological element, but we won’t get into that right now.
I knew there was a chance the notes wouldn’t all be too familiar, but I’ve learned this wall can definitely be unpredictable. A different and entertaining theme was clothes, or rather lack of clothes. One person simply put “naked and free” with a small heart. Comparably, someone else wrote “naked with my plants.” I know the wall is basically anonymous, but I’m glad people were comfortable enough to write something that may seem vulnerable to others. I think it’s important for people who are more reserved to see stuff like these notes because it shows that we can all get to a point of complete openness.
Two other people wrote about taking off certain clothes in exchange for something comfier. One note said “when the bra comes off and the stretchy pants come on!” This was so funny to me because of how relatable it was! I also immediately change into more comfortable clothes as soon as I get home (and I know the majority of people do too), so it was amusing to see someone put it up on the wall.
Another person put “take my pants off and change into shorts! (It’s hot outside)”. SAME. This Texas Sun (I hope someone gets my Khruangbin/Leon Bridges reference, lol) is never a joke. I feel for all the people that are going back to work in an office again and are having to wear pants in this heat.
Finally, the most popular theme was COFFEE! Yes, this still came as a surprise to us even though we’re a coffee shop. I’m glad many people see coffee as part of their feeling of home and it’s exciting to be a part of that!
The responses ranged from a straightforward “drinking my coffee!” to more specific things like “at home with pups, love, and a cup of coffee on a rainy day” with a drawing of a coffee mug. Others name dropped and wrote they feel at home when they’re “having coffee with…” which I assume are loved ones or friends. I often have coffee with either my best friend or my fiance, so these were 100% relatable since my coffee hangs with either of them are always a good time.
I also think a lot of people have a backstory with coffee, which is why so many of our customers mentioned drinking coffee as being home to them. Or people just really love caffeine! Either way, bringing people together through coffee is always a good feeling. I started drinking cafe con leche at a very young age since it was the cultural norm. Because of this, I associate coffee with home since it was something I bonded with family over while growing up.
The subject of home this past month brought about so many pleasant memories and emotions. I loved getting the chance to read what home means to each and everyone of you! It’s heartening that so many of you are willing to let us into a snippet of your lives. Whether home is a physical place or a state of mind, I hope you always have something that brings you back to that feeling.
Written by Cristina Medina