I’ve been looking for that place people call home for as long as I can remember. I’ve always dreamt of being comfortable in one place. I’ve moved around my entire childhood from one school, city, and state to another. I always thought I would end up somewhere and have an ‘Aha’ moment and know that I was ‘Home’.
It could be a fluke of my upbringing but I have assumed that all definitions of home have meant a physical place. A town. A city. A state. A mountain range. A cave. Somewhere I could see with my own two eyes. As I watch myself slip through all of these little towns and try to find my home I’m realizing that you can’t ever truly see a home. Home to me seems to be some type of feeling.
I used to look for that elusive idea called home within other people. Someone I felt comfortable and confident around. Someone that I could curl my worries and my anxiety to and be calmed by their presence. I’ve made my home in a few people’s hearts and it’s terrifying to leave that responsibility on a person. Not only terrifying but completely irresponsible. I’ve only later figured that out.
I don’t find the, “Home is where the heart is,” phrase to be true anymore. I’ve left my heart all over the place and I constantly struggle to identify where my home is. One of my homes is running around the country and I am unlikely to see them again. That’s where I learned that it was irresponsible and terrifying to make a home within another person. I’ll never get that room of my home back. It’s been sold as a condo to someone I once loved. My other home is celebrating their first year of marriage 3,000 miles away and I love them dearly.
Those people are what make me extremely comfortable. I have this sick addiction to leaving anything that makes me feel comfortable. It becomes a sense of complacency and complacency doesn’t feed my innate need to grow as a person. If comfort sets in I immediately hear an alarm going off. I take the first train out of town. I find the first plane ticket to nowhere in particular.
The aftermath of doing that is a sense of complete confusion. Always on a search for something indescribably confusing and indeterminate. Like I’ve said, I made the mistake of calling people home. People change, circumstances get more complex, we make decisions we are unsure are right or wrong, and often times end up losing people we love and find important to us. We are all fallible and I am no excuse to that rule. The more people you call home the more you start to lose your sense of self-identity and confidence. Those people become your rock and then you toss the rock into the water and sometimes never find them again. One more room in your home is gone.
Although we all lose touch with people and places we are always left with one thing in particular… We are stuck with ourselves day in and day out. I know this isn’t revolutionary or anything, but no one gave me the skinny that home is where you are right now. People and places almost always change, life takes them on a different courses, or we end up making a long stream of bad decisions. (Guilty as charged. If you know me personally, you cannot deny this.)
With all the changes that I have not been able to control I have never realized that I can be my own home. I don’t need someone to fill in the spaces of my heart that have been chipped away over the years. I am still right here. Someone, probably notable, coined the phrase, “You’ve got to build your own home before you let other people in.” Sometimes you need to take some time out for some repair too.
We have all had that landlord who let their property fall into complete disrepair. Leaking roofs, bad water heaters, broken A/C units, absurdly drafty windows, shitty paint jobs, and so much more. Don’t be like that landlord. Take care of yourself. Rebuild once in a while.
No one can be perfect. We all have our flaws that make us the rad people that we are. We just aren’t reminded that we are enough and we can get through this life so long as we can become our own homes. Don’t let yourself get lost in other people and in the idea that home is a physical placement.