Often, in recent months, I’ve been asked if I am homesick. Eight months ago we relocated to a different country, in the opposite hemisphere. New home, new job, new culture, new language, the list goes on. So am I homesick? This begs the question of what it means to be homesick. What exactly am I meant to be missing? Why are some people around me expecting me to be miserable?
So I enquired what they expect me to be missing so much I’d be miserable over it. The most common answer is I’d be missing my former home. I find this surprising. Yes, I miss family and friends and have to mention my little kitty, but my former home? This makes me ponder what I consider to be home. A house is just the brick the mortar it is made of. But, what makes it a home?
As I look back on my life I’ve lived in some curious places and called them home. On two separate occasions, my home consisted of a converted garage. Once my home was a single room. I’ve had a few apartments and an excessively large, free-standing house. Then there’s my last home in South Africa which was a beautiful duplex which was “home” for nearly eleven years. They have varied significantly in size, fittings, location, etc. But I considered each and every one of them my home.
Home to me is where I find my peace and sanctuary from the world. Where I relax. A place where I can truly just be myself, even if that means walking around in my pyjamas at 2:00 pm. Home is a place of comfort, love, and security. It is where I have that feeling of “belonging”. Home is where I “find” myself. It’s not about the material things we fill the brick and mortar with. Home is a feeling, an emotion. A feeling of being content and at peace.
There’s the saying “home is where the heart is”. If home is where the heart is, then by its most literal definition, my home is wherever I am. Very true for me. Whenever I’ve moved into a new abode I’ve moved my heart there – never leaving it behind in a previous home. I’ve made each new place into my sanctuary and been at peace with whatever the circumstances may be. I make the conscious decision to live in the moment, with what I have, and be thankful. So I carry my decision with me to each new place to be called home.
Don’t get me wrong, I do hold onto the happy and comforting memories of each and every home I’ve ever had. They ground me.
My feeling of “home” is the love, peace, joy and comfort I fill my home with. I am blessed with being able to do this and am blessed to have the most amazing partner to do it with.
So, do I miss home? Simple answer… No! I am at home.
Yours in lifelong learning.