Where do you call home? I’m asking you this question because I’m interested in what a person considers their home. Is it some place where you feel you belong? Where you fit in? Where people ‘get’ you? Is it some where you feel accepted and loved? Or is it simply where you grew up, where your parents live or where you went to school?
I grew up in a small town. It was never truly home in my heart. I always looked for a way out. Why? Let’s just say Margaret Thatcher took away a huge chunk of the industry, took away people’s jobs, and in turn she eroded their pride and self-esteem. The result – generations of families who have never worked since she came to town. The harsh reality was a town left with very few opportunities. I was often told, ‘oh your parents both work? Your posh!’ (I’m not!) Or due to twice yearly trips abroad, ‘You have a tan, you must be a half cast!'(ridiculously racist but said a lot to me!) I tried to keep my head down, but I knew I had to get out and fast.
So I am sure you won’t be surprised that I don’t consider my home town as my actual home. I do have some beautiful memories. There are good people and bad people wherever we live in life. It was not all bleak and mundane. It was not all like an Irvine Welsh novel, although at times it was very close. It was gritty, it was tough. But I’m here today and happy to say it wasn’t all bad. There were sweet moments. A child can find beauty wherever he or she goes. I used to walk my dog, we’d escape to the countryside for hours. I’d sit amongst the long grass and look up at the blue sky in the Summer. All the time knowing there had to be more, more to life to see and do.
I stumbled across a town some years later. It was about 40 minutes drive from my original town. Although it has much the same social problems in certain pockets, however by and large it was nice. The people were incredibly open who I met and they welcomed me into their world with open arms. At last, after 24 years, I belonged. It became clear that home is the place were you feel most at home. You can, I have decided, find your own home in life. It is where you feel like you can be yourself.
I now live very far from my original home and my adopted home. I live on the other side of the world. I have done what I set out to do – see and do things with my life. I now wonder where our future home will be. Perhaps it is possible to have multiple homes in life? The wonderful thing about life – anything and everything is possible.