Sunday, 24 May 2015

What home means to me

Up till now I’ve called nine separate locations my home and am in the process of turning a 10th place into my home. For a large part of my life, I’ve lived with my parents and my brother. Back then home used to be a place where we existed as a team. But unfortunately it’s no longer fully true for any of us because when I moved away, the physical distance eroded parts of our bonds.

I started living in my first boarding school about four years ago, in grade nine. For the first half of that year it felt as if someone had deprived me of my life force and I felt oddly disconnected with my surroundings; everything felt surreal, as if suddenly my life had turned into a bad dream I couldn’t wake out of. However, once I got past this initial phase and slowly started opening up and letting my guard down I built new relationships that tamed my yearning for the place I called home. One of my most memorable moments was when my friends and I were talking for the last time before a three-month long winter vacation and they said they would miss me. My first reaction to that statement was of gleeful surprise because I hadn’t yet realized how close we’d become in a matter of months or that I’d found a second home in an institution I once so uninhibitedly hated. Probably because it wasn’t really the institution I thought of as home but the place and the community I’d so firmly become a part of. In that strange place I’d found a new family.

I guess I could say I’ve got quite a few homes but only a few that I can go back to, the rest have been deserted by me and the people who made those places into homes and therefore no longer exist in my present but will always be cherished in my memories. So home for me seems to be a place that allows a community of people to exist together. But it’s more than that: it is a strong feeling of familiarity and liberating abandon. It’s the feeling you get after a long day when you go back to a familiar place filled with familiar sights and you somehow know that you belong in that strange system of things. Home is having a place to be alone with your feelings and not be questioned about your state of mind. Home is where rituals flourish and soon enough start becoming a part of you. Home is eating oats and watching ‘House’ in the mornings. Home is wearing pyjamas all day long. Home is smiling. Home is crying. Home is laughing. Home is compromising. Home is bittersweet honey that you itch for. Home is comfort. Home is staying up all night reading/creating/talking. Home is memories. Home is music. Home is freedom. Home is love. Home is magic. Home has the potential to be anything and everything and that’s why it always feels different for everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment