Home is ... where ... ?16:35:00
This time 4 years ago I signed my first tenancy agreement and while sometimes all this seems so far away there are other moments where it doesn't at all. I was still a baby, still graduating high school, only 18 years old - a freakin' baby - with zero experience and so many hopes. The past 4 years have been an incredible adventure for me full of good memories, life lessons and people who came into my life but also people who weren't meant to be in it permanently. 4 years of success and failing. Of right decisions and plenty of mistakes.
I was on the phone with my mom a couple of days ago talking about my problem of not knowing where I belong. This has been a huge problem of mine for the past two years. Moving out and abroad at the age of 18 was the best thing I have ever done, however, the more I move around the more confused I get about my own identity. And identity, knowing who and what you are, are psychologically important to human beings – it’s a fact. I see it as kind of a menu or set of instructions for life. It guides you. It tells you what you should do in order to be happy. It tells you “this is you”. I always thought I knew what I was looking for in life but the more I move around the more I change and the more I wonder who I really am. By the end of 2016 I’ll have lived in 5 countries within 4 ½ years. And, oh Lord, it has been an adventure. But while most people find this impressive, and trust me I used to be one of them, I am starting to wonder if I will ever find this place that people call “home”.
Home is where
… your heart it?
… your family is?
… your friends are?
… you have found love?
… you belong?
… you were born?
… you grew up?
I do already have a couple of homes – some are places, others are people. All of them are different. Some are related to each other, others aren’t at all. But what is the ultimate home? Is there even such a thing?
Pretty much two years ago this day I posted the following piece on my old travel blog and I still love and try to live by it. Read…
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out to a person. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou, poet, author, civil rights activist
April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014
And sometimes I have to remind myself how true everything she says here really is. As I already mentioned earlier, I talked to my mom a couple of days ago and she told me exactly the same thing. And even though I already knew that “life goes on”, that “I still have to learn” and “that everything happens for a reason” sometimes you just need someone who sincerely loves you to fucking tell you over and over again instead of just reading motivational quotes by yourself. It helps. It really does. “But Leah, if you are so unhappy moving places all the time WHY THE HECK do you do it then?” and I really wished I had an answer to this but honestly? I don’t. It’s not like I haven’t thought about it a trillion times already. But so far I couldn't come up with a proper theory to why I am the way I am. I truly believe that there are things in life you can’t explain. People are complex. Different. People aren’t rational. They do and don't do things because they feel it’s the right thing to do but it probably isn’t. And we’ve all done it. Mistakes or bad decisions are not always instantly visible. Sometimes it takes time to realize things and then it’s too late. And you know what? That’s okay. If making that “mistake” was part of your “instructions” then it is part of you. It helped shaping you the way you are.
Right now, moving around like a fish in the sea, is the best and the worst thing for me. And I know I will settle down some time being happy the way things are even if they’re not perfect. Because nothing is or ever will be perfect. People, places, relationships. Nothing. And you know what? That’s okay. And maybe I’ll be a 90-year-old hobo not knowing where I belong or who I am. But you know what? That’s okay.
Maybe we are all just too focused on finding our own ‘home’ instead of just being a ‘home’ ourselves. But what do I know…