Sunday 8 May 2016

Finding your home

We pulled into the driveway, and I exhaled deeply. For the first time in days I could breathe freely again.
I had been gone for less than a week, but I had missed this. 
The glorious blossoms everywhere. 
The green oasis that our place is in the spring. 
The dogs. 
My man. 

It's strange growing up in a place that doesn't feel like home. When you desperately want to fit in, but you don't. 
I didn't choose it. On the contrary, nothing would have made me happier than to be completely content where I lived. 
But, it wasn't meant to be.

I noticed it the most when I was still. Just being with my thoughts and having no distractions was the worst. I felt like I couldn't catch a deep breath. Something was sitting on my chest, suffocating me, making me restless and panicky. I wanted to get away - but to go where? Our most ancient instincts tell us to go to a safe place, to go home - but I was home. Even if it didn't feel like it. Where to go?

So I stayed busy. Kept moving, kept doing stuff, kept meeting people. Everything to avoid having too much time to think. I worked, and worked some more, and read books to escape my reality, and stuffed my face with so much food until I felt sick and disgusted with myself. I would go for long, punishing walks, earbuds firmly in my ears to drown out my thoughts, to walk off the food binge and run away from the overwhelming feeling of loneliness and not belonging. 

I tried to be like everyone else. Searching for the contentment that other people seemed to have in spades. They would mention something they loved - the festival coming up, or their favourite pub, or how awesome that city was - and I would try to see it through their eyes and feel the same. But it was a forced exercise. Abstract. I would be able to understand what they were talking about, but not feel it. Not feel the connection or pride that comes with looking at the place you call home, and that makes your heart swell and your soul sing. 

I would sit by my window, watching the planes from the nearby airport lift into the sky, and fervently wish to be on one of them. To go away, searching for the place I could belong. 

I was scared, feeling too small, too inexperienced, too unsophisticated to take that step. 

But the loneliness remained, the sadness wouldn't leave, and one day, the fervent hope of finding something better won over the fear. 
I walked into a travel agency, heart beating furiously in my chest, palms sweaty, and booked an open-ended flight. 

To Canada. 

My head was full of hopes and dreams of finding everlasting happiness there. I wanted it so much, my heart was burning with desire. 
I wasn't even thinking about setting myself up for disappointment. I had just lived through the worst year of my life, and was sure that whatever happened next had to be better than what I was leaving behind. 

My entire being was open. Open and receptive for whatever was to come. I was ready for change, still believing in happy endings, the eternal optimist-part of me waking up again and flexing her muscles. 

When it did happen, I wasn't as surprised as I should have been. 
After all, wasn't that what was supposed to happen?
Didn't I suffer through the darkness to gain the strength to step into the unknown? 

I surrendered completely to my heart, not listening to the scare tactics my mind wanted to conjure up. Not listening to anybody else. Just listening to my gut, my heart and my soul. 

I knew I had made the right decision when the voices in my head went silent. They simply disappeared. I could sit still, breathe easy, listen to my soul, and feel nothing but peace. 

I had found home.  


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