About the concept of home and why it shouldn’t necessarily be “where your heart is”.
Growing up, I moved quite a bit and quite some distance – which led me to question the concept of home in a young age and brought me to different answers during my different stages of life.
Home, or so I initially understood, meant the place where I actually lived with my family in this very moment. But somehow my classmates always regarded me as “foreign”, just because I might pronounced words slightly different as they did and maybe because my favorite soccer team did not match the mainstream of my class. Our house, our street we lived on, my school – none of this gave me a real feeling of home. So I reconsidered.
Maybe home was more than just my bed and my roof on top?!
My sister jokingly claimed that our heart was coined by the town we were born in and our souls by the city we grew up in. This did satisfy me for quite some time, until I started to meet amazing people and started to connect home with the feelings I felt with those people. The saying “home is where your heart is” became a new meaning: Home suddenly meant to be surrounded by people I loved and gave you that warm feeling inside. I found home in my family, my friends and relationships. But just as humans are flawed, so are those relations you create with them. Home came crushing down as people left my life and I left theirs. I felt once more lost on my search of feeling and being home – until I moved to London last summer.
I realized home did not mean my little dorm room and the shared bathrooms and kitchens. It did not mean my new university with campuses all over the city and students from all over the world. It did also not mean my new nor my old friends or my family’s house back in Germany.
Home was not somewhere or in someone else to be found, but home is inside me. This does sound either very simple or just plain mad, but as long as I have myself, I am home.
Let me clarify what I mean: I can only influence my surrounding to a certain extend. Putting my trust in one place or one person to be my safe place, my home, puts them up to a responsibility they cannot always fulfill. And that is totally fine. But in order to spare me another heartbreak or upsetting experience, I should put that trust into the one thing that I can fully influence: Myself. This does not mean that I am perfect, but as long as I practice selflove and selfcare I can grant myself the same warm and safe feeling anything else would. I can find habits on my own that make me feel great inside and that I can practice all over the world no matter if I like my house, my neighborhood or the people that surround me. And in moments that I disappoint myself, I can work on myself and try to improve and better myself – surely, in a respectful way, because putting yourself down does not bring you anywhere (as mentioned before: Selflove is the key!).
And with this in mind; no matter where I go or move next, I’ll be home.