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  • I am 25 years old and this October I will have been homeless for 26 years. Although there have been days, weeks, months throughout my life when I did not have a solid place to lay my head, that is not entirely what I mean when I say "homeless".

    I've recently come to the realization that I have never felt "at home". Not in my birthplace of Charlotte. Not in my hometown of Wadesboro. Not in my "other hometown" of Rock Hill. Not in my college town of High Point. Not in my "other college town" of Miami. There's a trend here. I move. A lot.

    This is a story shared with many military kids or children of the hippie generation. But I am a part of neither. I'm the daughter of a 52-year old, four-time divorcee but that's about it. With every new boyfriend, fiance or husband, came a new address and likely an entirely different zip code; addresses of which I can recall none.

    I've adopted my mothers "pack up and go" attitude; moving whenever things did not seem right. Unfortunately, it has not worked out at all for her. I do not know what she seeks, why she's unfulfilled or why she continues down the same path; but I am completely determined to not be like her.

    I've been determined to find home ...

    ... And I'm sure that I've found it in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    The first time I visited New Orleans was in June 2012 and I've missed her like a long-distance lover ever since. Her unique history, intoxicating culture, story of perseverance and joyous attitude coupled with pain and sadness. I miss her. When I'm there, I'm in love. That deep kind of love that makes you a better version of yourself; that encourages you to be your true self.

    I feel oddly connected. Why would I resonate with a city such as this? I have no familial ties, no previous knowledge; nothing to bridge the gap between my story and hers. BUT ... being in New Orleans feels like being home.
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