Schneckenhaus*

The other day, Facebook came up with one of those “Your Memories on Facebook” posts for me. 

Jim, tolerating what is probably a ribbon from an anniversary gift, 2012. 

Jim, tolerating what is probably a ribbon from an anniversary gift, 2012. 

This photograph of my handsome dog Jim was taken in our living room in Germany, five years ago as of last week. Just a few months after this photo was taken, we packed up our household and moved from Germany to San Diego. We moved from San Diego to Hawaii in the spring of 2014, and from Hawaii to Virginia early in 2016. That’s a whole lot of change in quite a bit less than five years. And each of these moves was a “non-driver”—as in, everything and everyone had to spend time on a ship or in a plane. Even cars. 

Moving this frequently means I've spent a lot of time considering what "home" is. What makes something home? Is it a town, a state, or a country? A building? A group of people? A set of circumstances? Is it the presence of a combination of these things, or of some element like comfort, belonging, or love? Or is it proximity to your belongings? Is it really "where the heart is", or where the dog is, or wherever you're with your family?

Because I've spent so much of my life either on the road or living somewhere that I saw as temporary, I've given this a lot of thought. A smart person recently suggested that I was a bit like a snail, in that I carry my home with me on my back. I initially thought she meant that I'm mobile, and ready to pull up stakes at the drop of a hat. But, having reflected on it a bit, I now think that she may have also meant that all I the "home" I need is already part of me; that home is something I carry from place to place, complete as it is, and ready put under whatever roof, in whatever location, I decide. 

Home is a concept I'd like to explore with my clients. It's so full of possibilities, and the meaning of home changes so much as life progresses. Given the grounding and comfort it can afford us, it sure seems like something that, ideally, we'd do well to internalize. We could all be snails. 

So, what does home mean for you? How can you create home within yourself? What would your life look like if you were all you needed to be home? 

* Schneckenhaus means snail shell in English (literally "snail house").

Getting Started

I'll admit it—I've been putting off starting this blog because I wanted to create the perfect post. A post that would set the right tone, that would showcase my unique voice, that would be informative and insightful and entertaining. The topic of this post was something I considered, somewhere in the back of my mind, for weeks. Today, as I sat down, again, to think about writing this post (which is what I say I'm doing when I stare at a blank screen briefly before moving on to another task when I don't come up with anything) I realized that the advice I want to share is simply this: 

GET STARTED. 

As a creative, smart, ambitious person, you want to put the best of yourself forward, and that's wonderful! But the desire to showcase the things you do best is often accompanied by a belief that every offering you put out there has to be perfect. Though intellectually, it's easy to see how this can't be achievable, once this idea implants itself in the path in front of you, it's surprisingly resilient. And as it wraps around your ideas, this belief will keep you from creating and sharing anything. 

So today, I'm providing you with an example of a creative endeavor that's good enough. It makes an important point: Put your work out there, in front of people's eyeballs, and them move on to make more work. By doing this, you make connections with other people, you get the feel-goods that go along with expressing yourself, and you free up space to create more of the things you create. 

Perfection is a myth. Go make things that are good enough, and then go make some more.