These wise words from Miranda Lambert in “The House That Built Me” helped start this decade. This song won tons of awards in 2010 when it was released and is an absolute classic. I don’t know how someone could ever hear this song and not have some surge of memories from their youth. But the thing is, she was right. You can’t. And even if you do, it won’t ever be the same.
We grow up and we move on. We become the people we were destined to be. We forget about who we were when we were little. Or we forget about who our parents were. Or we forget about all the little details in the house we grew up in. Maybe there’s a faint memory of these things, but we can’t ever get it back.
There are always end of the year reviews, but when it comes to the end of the decade, it feels a lot heavier. The reflections get a lot deeper. The changes seem a lot bigger and we’re a lot further away from the life we had when it started.
It’s just starting to hit me how much my life has changed since the beginning of this decade and how much more true this song feels. At the beginning of this decade, life was really just normal. I was going into the last semester of high school. My dad was still my biggest supporter in the world. We lived in a 3-bedroom ranch style house on 3 acres of land. A very typical midwestern, middle class life.
Now here we are at the end of the decade, ten years have passed, and life is so much different. For one, I can’t remember when I heard a song on country radio that sounded anything like “The House That Built Me.” But more importantly, all of our personal lives have changed so much too. For better or worse, we are likely completely different people than who we were starting 2010.
For me, we don’t own that 3-bedroom ranch anymore. We sold it when my dad became disabled in 2011. Which really deepened the idea of “you can’t go home again.” Throughout this decade, it’s become very clear to me that home changes meaning over time. For a while, even though it was to a different house, I still went “home” a lot to visit my parents. Then my dad passed away in 2017. Now I barely ever go back to my hometown ever, because it feels nothing like it did back then. I currently refer to my house in a completely different state home. I say currently, because I know in a year or two, this won’t be my home anymore either.
You can’t ever go home again. Maybe that’s because home is forever changing. Maybe it’s wherever we go. Wherever we decide it is. Wherever you feel safe. With whoever you makes you feel that way. Which is probably why the point of the song is trying to go back home when you feel like you’ve lost yourself. I’ve felt lost many times throughout the last ten years, but there hasn’t been a “home” to go back to for most of those.
This sounds negative, but it hasn’t been. I think all of the positive experiences in new places are what have changed the meaning of home for me. If that’s the case, I don’t think I want to be able to go to the old “homes” anymore.
We may get our start in a house that builds us, but then we grow up and we have to start building ourselves. As we end the 2010’s, take a look back on how you’ve built yourself and how your home has changed. Then keep building into the next decade.