The oxford dictionary defines home as “The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household” but I don’t find that to be entirely true. It’s an undeniable truth that you will always start life out at home and eventually you’ll move away and make your own. For many years now I have managed to find home as more than just a place of brick and mortar. I’ve found it as more than just a permanent residence with wires and water and I find myself back in this place. There comes a moment however, when you find yourself back at home, back where you started and begin to wonder, do I belong here?
For years I had two: the one I was raised and born into and the one I made for myself. Like most teenagers the one I had made for myself was an amalgamation of everything I thought I knew I wanted. It was a two bedroom maisonette in the borough of lewisham above a post office. I moved there with a partner and it was far from perfect. It had a communal garden that was overgrown and unused, the oven didn’t work correctly and the bedroom had a damp mould problem. Between the broken toilet sit and the multiple damaged (or missing) electrical fittings, to me it was perfect. My mother sent me our first piece of post in the form of a letter saying how proud she was of me building my own life with someone and that was first time I really knew i was home.
But there is a lesser thought of scenario, what happens if we find ourselves back where we started? After all this time is it still possible to feel comfortable in a place you didn’t build for yourself?
For me, home is the conversation you have with the local shop owner, it’s in the familiar street names and knowing the best place to cross the street. It’s the regular hello to a neighbour and the morning coffee with your significant other; it’s a place that you often make for yourself, starting from scratch and taking from all the different aspects of your life. For many it’s not just one place. It’s in the draw full of random Gadgets and spare parts, and inside the one appliance that doesn’t work properly. It’s on the back of a take out menu, it’s in a bar where everyone knows your name. It’s more than just a warm bed, even though sometimes that’s all you need. It’s that safe feeling with those who love you and it’s feeling comfortable enough to, argue over the remote.
It’s not always permanent nor is it always perfect and through out life we will have to inevitably up root it and maybe find another. You may loose it, but it’s something that you can always find again. Home Is truly where the heart is however that’s not to say you can’t build your own shelf and place it somewhere unexpected. Wherever you do build it or who you decide to make it with, for the time being you’ll always belong there and you will always have a place to call home, even if it’s just for a little while.