Home. One of the most basic ideas common across all humanity, yet also one of the most difficult and personally unique to define. A building, a place, people, an object, a range of emotions and feelings. . . Each play their part. At the same time, humans are highly adaptable on the whole, and can become accustomed to a whole range of new situations – good or bad – given time. Your definition of home can, most likely will, change.
I’ve only ever lived in one place in my life. More than that, I’ve only lived in one house in one place, and I was born in the hospital not fifteen minutes away. Of course, I’ve stayed for a while in other places – months at a time even – but the majority of my life, I’ve been right here. I wonder how many people can say that these days?
When I was looking at universities, one of my teachers told me I should get as far away from home as possible, because it was your first and best chance to leave your family and the only way you’d get the most from the experience. I always thought it was kind of sad, that he felt you had to get as far from your family as possible, and I wondered why too. Did he not get on with people at home? Think everyone should travel and experience the world? Maybe he felt you couldn’t ‘find yourself’ or grow up if you stayed too near home. I ended up at the university in the next town, just twenty minutes away.
For me, some of this was choice. Some necessity. And my settled existence doesn’t mean I don’t think about seeing other places. Nor that I haven’t seen some: I’ve been to Ireland to visit family, Scotland to do family research, Spain with school, Malta with university. Every year until I was in my late teens I’d go camping with my family somewhere different in the UK.
What’s the point of my telling you all this? As usual, I’m not entirely sure; I don’t plan much, and I frequently have no concious idea of why I do things. Some might say I’m incredibly— What’s the opposite of self-aware? Clueless? Anyway, I sat down to write, and this is what appeared.