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“Mapping Home” Exercise

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For this exercise I chose to create a map surrounded around a central location rather than a trail that connected entirely. I believe that in my past everything does refer back to my home life and experiences so I think it’s appropriate to create an image that ultimately leads back to one central location. The heart of my childhood was my home for many reasons. One, I lived in the same house throughout my childhood. For me, calling up an image of home is easier than it might be for most simply because I was fortunate enough to stay in the same static location for my entire childhood and beyond. In the map I have created, the “Home” point is signified by a dark shade of purple. It is peeking behind a point I entitled “Family”, which is represented with a lighter shade of purple. My father’s parents lived three houses down from us and this is why I have chosen to include their home in this map. Family dinners, birthday parties, and Holiday celebrations were all conducted in a location so near to my home. This also represents the second reason for choosing my home to be a base for all of my other significant locations: family. As one of seven children, my childhood was full of the happy background noise created by my six siblings and our parents. Finally, I decided to keep my home the central location of my map because I was home educated. The three dark blue points that stretch from the home point are significant because they are all churches. The closest point is the church my family attended when I was a young child (and it is also a place where several childhood memories are located) while the far left point is the church I actively attended in my middle-high school years. I believe the distinction is important because at the first location I was a merely a young attendee while at the second location I was an inwardly passive/outwardly active participant. Again, both of these points lead back to the “Home” point. My childhood was full of Christian values and rhetoric, and I soaked up every word without question. Not only was my home a hub of family, a representation of stability, and a place of education: it was also the starting point for every other spiritual encounter. The third and middle point lines up almost directly with my home, which I find interesting because although it is a church, this place doubled as yet another place of education. There, I learned to sew and mastered a budget. (My last paycheck can testify that I have since forgotten the art of money management.) The final point on my map is a lighter shade of blue to indicate that it is distantly related to the dark blue points. I purposely did this to signify that while I was required to attend church, the library (or, my personal “church”) was a location I willingly returned to.

By Kathryn

KATIE is a twenty-something held together with iced coffee and her wits. She writes personal confessions and pop culture chronicles.

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