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I got to talking with an acquaintance a few days ago. He regaled us with stories about his life and travels. He started in the UK, but moved to Japan for work when his son was still really young. Now, his work has taken him to the States and his family will be joining him. He had intended to return to the UK, but I suppose he’s realizing now it may not happen as quickly or at all.

Yesterday, I took a drive out to the college town. While I did not revisit many places, or any places of true significance, it felt really comforting to return to a familiar (shopping) area. I began to think about how I felt during the years I spent in college and how much has changed since I left and also, how my definition of “home” has evolved.

When I was a child, I had only known one home and it belonged in the apartment complex. Very abruptly, I had to start new, start in an unfamiliar area, with unfamiliar people and communities. I constantly yearned to return to my previous home, my friends, my neighborhood, the surroundings I knew, but I couldn’t. I was stuck for four years and during my teenage years of angst, hormones, and overly dramatic emotions, I never felt like it was home. I felt as if something had always been missing and couldn’t be fulfilled.

College had eventually become my new home. I felt comfortable. I felt safe. I felt as if I had everything I had needed and felt fulfilled. As I graduated and moved back into the previous house (aka parents’ house), I felt like I was going backwards. It didn’t feel like home again. I had to watch my actions and what I wanted to do. I couldn’t be me; I couldn’t do things as freely as I would have wished.

As I begin my transition to leave the “nest,” I begin to think about where my new “home” should be. To which area do I want to move? What do I call and what will I define as home? Will it be defined by geographical locations? The surrounding community? The proximity of the people I hold near and dear to my heart? Or will it be the sense of parental freedom? The ability to be free of housemates and be myself without judgment or fear?

What is a home?

House is not a Home

I feel like this is a recurring mantra and more specifically, to a specific house.

Earlier this week, we had an in-class exercise. We needed to talk with another person about something that bothered us, something small. I picked the weather and how cold it was. Somehow, during that talk, it lead to my discovery that while I dislike the cold, I dislike the fact that I am cold and freezing in my own house and how that is a product of a specific person in that house: mother.

I don’t know how many people truly understand how much I detest mother. Her interests are backwards and wayward. I could relay all of the despicable things she does, but I don’t want to be that person. Just trust me – she’s terrible.

I’ve been thinking about it more today and since Monday. Have I ever felt at home in this house? Have I ever felt truly comfortable? To be honest? I don’t think so. Our house is practically its own apartment home. There is a lady who lives in our garage. There is a man who lives in the room adjacent to mine. I know none of these people. About two months ago, she decided to let her friend live in our shed. Yes, the shed. The shed that still has all of our stuff in it.

This house is crowded in terms of its occupants and also things. I just want to take a week and go through everything in this house, toss the things we don’t need and the things that she says she’ll “use one day” but hasn’t in the last decade. There are so many things and I just don’t understand their purpose. Everything is a mess. Everything is dirty. Nothing is clean.

I don’t feel at ease in my own home. During this winter frost, I have to use two heaters because a spike in the electric bill is more desirable than a spike in the gas bill. Because the solution to my problem is just to layer up, not make sure the house is a comfortable temperature.

This is not a home. It’s a living space. It is my temporary stop until I can leave this godforsaken hell hole. I want to be able to place things down and not worry that someone will move it, or “clean” things up without knowing what needs to be clean. I want to be able to throw old expired food out and not have to worry about keeping it a secret. I want to be able to eat my bambu and throw it away in the kitchen trash, not my own, because if I throw it in the kitchen trash, rest assured, that cup will be “saved” and put to another use.

I just want to be comfortable. In my own space. In my own “home.”

And while I should probably stay on topic, I’m not. What I also want? To be able to say these things freely without having someone else minimize how I feel. Yes, there are dying children in another areas. There are children on the streets. My problems are #firstworldproblems, but they are mine. This is how I feel and that is important, no matter how trivial. I get to be in that space and I get to have people listen to it and sympathize. I don’t want to be compared. I don’t want to be told that my problems are nothing and that I need to be grateful for what I have. I may be more vocal about my complaints than I am about my blessings, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel blessed everyday to have what I have. But in that moment when I am feeling like it’s been a crap week, I just need someone to listen and not judge how I feel.

I need to move out. Soon. Probably before I kill someone. Or hurt someone. #angerissues.