Julie Beck is a senior editor at The Atlantic , where she covers family and education. My roommate and I have an entire wall in our kitchen plastered with maps of places we've been, and twin Ferris wheels, one at Navy Pier, one at Place de la Concorde, are stacked on top of one another in my living room.
I know full well that living in Paris for three months doesn't make me a Parisian, but that doesn't mean there's not an Eiffel Tower on my shower curtain anyway.
We may leave a pretty good thing behind, hoping that the next place will be even more desirable. Most Westerners believe that "your psychology, and your consciousness and your subjectivity don't really depend on the place where you live," Sax says. Memories, too, are cued by the physical environment.
And the truth is, the location of your heart, as well as the rest of your body, does affect who you are.Curry Auto Center - Clayton Anderson - You Don't Know What You're Missing
It just doesn't fit with our culture. It wasn't until I stumbled across the following notion, mentioned in passing in a book about a Hindu pilgrimage by William S.
No one is ever free from their social or physical environment. There's an expectation in our society that you'll grow up, buy a house, get a mortgage, and jump through all the financial hoops that home ownership entails, explains Patrick Devine-Wright, a professor in human geography at the University of Exeter.
But in spite of everything -- in spite of the mobility, the individualism, and the economy -- on some level we do recognize the importance of place. But while it's human nature to want to have a place to belong, we also want to be special, and defining yourself as someone who once lived somewhere more interesting than the suburbs of Michigan is one way to do that. And that's only the beginning. My house is a shrine to my homes. But connections made in one place can be isolated from those made in another, so we may not think as often about things that happened for the few months we lived someplace else.
The more connections our brain makes to something, the more likely our everyday thoughts are to lead us there.
I can't be connected with my home in the intense way South Asians are in Sax's book, but neither do I presume my personality to be context-free. I considered each of those places my home at one time or another, whether it was for months or years. So how does that affect our conception of ourselves? If I'm going to visit my parents, I'm going home and if I'm returning to Chicago, I'm also going home.
I can't possibly live everywhere I once labeled home, but I can frame these places on my walls.
In some ways, this mobility has become part of the natural course of a life. For better or worse, the place where we grew up usually retains an iconic status, Clayton says.