I'm not entirely sure when this happened, but somewhere along the way 'home' has moved. When I moved interstate nearly four years ago the state I'd left was most definitely home. Over the Christmas break I would spend nearly two months there visiting family and catching up with friends, as well as coming home several times during the year for a week or two. That time was so important to me and really gave me an emotional lift. I felt like a stranger and an alien for a very long time when I moved interstate so coming home several times a year helped me to get through the rest of the year. Lately, though, I've realised that the opposite is true. I come 'home' to visit family and find myself anxious to get back 'home' to familiar and comfortable surroundings. How did this happen?

I think one thing that helped this happen is that, about 18 months ago, I finally found a church that feels like home, and where I have made good friends. Previously I longed for my old church where I knew there were people who cared about me and were praying for me; and where everything was familiar, because my 'new' church never ever felt like home, even though some of the people were friendly. Now, however, I feel like I have a church family again and that's made a huge difference to the way I feel about the place. This is not to say that I have abandoned my old church - I still miss the people there and I still feel a wonderful sense of belonging when I come back for holidays, but now when I say 'my church' I'm talking about the new(er) one, not the old one.

Church has been a big factor in my alliegance shift; and another thing that's helped is having a 'proper' job. I've had lots of jobs since I've been there but they've all been 'get me through uni' jobs. Now I'm not studying and the decision to find a job there instead of going back 'home' to find one was a big step for me. That's when I really felt like I'd moved for good.

Having said all of this, and given the supposed rivalry between the two states (which actually only exists from one side), I'll always be proud to say that I came from the first place, even though I now live in the second.


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