I’ve been thinking a lot lately, mostly because I’ve actually had the time.
Exams are over, moving is done. I have one more week of school-free bliss before jumping right back into the fray of courses, essays, midterms, assignments, and work… lots and lots of work.
I live on my own now. It’s a completely unique experience. I’ve gone from living in a full house to living in my own space. I love my place.
I went back to my parent’s house for dinner last night and I walked into the house, as I still have my key, and things felt different. Nothing has changed, nothing is out of place, but it felt completely different. I sat in the kitchen and despite the familiarity I almost felt like a stranger. I lived in that house for fifteen years, I outgrew my childhood there and have had more ‘firsts’ than I can count, but it still didn’t feel like home anymore.
Does my new place feel like home? I’m not quite sure. I got used to it ridiculously fast, and I’m certainly comfortable here, but is it home?
I’m not sure what home is supposed to feel like anymore. Of course I must address the cliched, “home is where the heart is,” but again I have to pick that apart. Literally my heart is wherever I am, but I don’t think that’s right. Metaphorically my heart is with my loved ones, but I don’t feel like they’re my home. When I’m around them I feel loved, but it’s different than feeling at home.
Will I ever feel at home again? One of my favourite lines from Zach Braff’s Garden State is:
You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone… it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this right of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.
I never really understood that prior to my move. I found it profound when I first heard it at fifteen, but clearly it needs work. It still has a pang of truth to it, despite its awkward delivery.
So I leave you wondering what home really is, and whether or not I might ever feel it again, or if I ever did feel it in the first place. It’s a wonder what you lose as an adult that you clung so emphatically to as a child. We were so certain of everything we knew, or thought we knew. Everything was the end all be all until something new came along and that became the new everything. Sometimes as an adult I’m so frustrated by the knowledge that I know almost nothing and that no matter how much knowledge I attempt to accumulate it will never be sufficient enough for me to claim that I know even one thing.
So, I’ll keep questioning and keep wondering.