(my empty room…cleaning it out was quite the cathartic experience)
Home. That single word can conjure so many feelings, thoughts & images. When I was younger I could’ve easily told you where my home was. The little red brick house in East Fort Worth, yada, yada yada. Then my parents divorced and that place got harder to label. I was split between two homes but for many years neither of them felt like a home. Sure, I had my room where I felt at ease but stepping outside of it introduced me to a world I wasn’t yet ready to reckon with. Then I went to college. I heard students call their dorm their home but it wasn’t mine. I love Wellesley but the dorms, they need work. Also I had a roommate and for an oldest child, five years older than her first younger sibling, I was used to being allowed me time & space. Then two winters later I came back home to that little brick house and guess what, my dad had given my room to my sister and put two double beds in it. Now the one place that had always been mine wasn’t. Now, he just moved out of that house to completely different city where I have a bed in my sister’s room for when I come to visit. And my mom, well she’s thinking of giving my room in her house to one my younger sisters.
I’m not trying to make a story about how my parents don’t care for me. They do, I just never thought this day would happen even though I knew it would (if that makes any sense). All of this has allowed me to really explore where my home is. It isn’t at college, it isn’t in Texas, it’s within me. Sure some places give me a sense of home because the conjure memories and feelings that put me at ease but really home where I make it. Right now, home is in my college’s Science Center as I camp out here trying to escape this New England heat wave. It’s taken a while but I’ve learned to find the solace I so claimed for myself as a young girl, hiding out in the depths of my room, in everyday places that aren’t as secluded or private as that room was.
Our ability to adapt is the true test of our ability to survive. One day, I’ll have my condo with a view, my cabin in the woods but for now I have this table, my laptop, some snacks and a bit of silence. Right now that’s all I need for I know that home where be wherever I choose to make it, if only I’m brave enough to do so.
The TED talk from TEDGlobal 2013 by Pico Iyer that inspired this post.