I am once again in a whirlwind of transition between moving, packing, moving, and finding a new place to live.
I’ve moved my fair share of times, for certain…
And I’ve learned that quantity remains a lowly sibling to quality.
I haven’t guaranteed myself a sense of “home” or “safety” in hardly any place, despite my best intentions. Even in places that other’s call home with firm attachment and belief, I have found myself in tatters of disconnect and distraction.
The idea that there is a place where one could be entirely whole and entirely themselves is not one that I am a stranger to, and it does have a romantic ring to it for sure- but I have not been able to fulfill it in myself.
I used to envy with cold lust the travelers I met at age 18, when I took it upon myself to place my body in a plane for the first time. I listened with wonder and awe as I heard stories of far-away places. I scornfully resented having never met others that had done the same before that age. I felt lesser than, unintelligent, and primal in comparison to the worldly professionals and rich heirs/heiresses my age, who had learned more about things beyond their own personal scope. When I got a passport at age 21, the shock on their faces when I admitted it was my first, filled me with self- consciousness.
But after years of following my curiosity, I have found myself finally on the other side of the perspective, (or at least moderately.) I have become “one of them” to an extent. One of the wanderers, one of the “travelers.”
And it has been a strange place to be- in conversation with those who I once saw as worldly and farther advanced than myself, as experiential equals. I still catch twinges of comparative envy, and recognize them as my internal and external conditioning, rather than a reflection of those who I am speaking with.
And I have found myself on the receiving end of the scorn I once held strongly. The guilt of having moved past my supposedly narrow path of travel strikes me hard in the chest when I hear or see longing from others to do the same.
Many travelers that I meet glorify the road of instability as a road of freedom in choosing what is considered “home.”
Coming from a place where “home” is distinctly engrained as the solitary location where you are born- this concept is still a battle for me to contend with.
It feels like a level of disrespect and disownment to refuse to call my hometown “home.” But it equally feels like a lie to my spirit to call it my only “home.”
The issue also comes to mind of dealing with the return to old, familiar places; finding the role that you once filled there replaced out of necessity. Equally, realizing that you have replaced former spaces of comfort with new, adapted ideals of safety.
Safety is a word I struggle with when it comes to living situations. Both my physical and emotional safety have been threatened repeatedly, and finding financial and practical ways to combat these threats has been a consistent struggle in my times of displacement.
I only hope that the struggle ends soon, so that I may rest, and have the ability to place all of my energy into my work, rather than half of it in protecting itself.