I’ve seen a lot of people talking about this lately and it’s inspired me to share my own (very) personal thoughts and feelings on the word ‘home’. I picked up my journals and flicked through the pages, picking out bits and pieces I wanted to include here without necessarily giving too much away, as I find this quite a sensitive topic and one I would get choked up talking about if anyone was to ever ask me my thoughts on it. Hell, I even get choked up just writing about it.
I don’t remember the first time I started to realise that home wasn’t just a place I grew up in or the house that my parents lived in, I just know that it was a long time ago, and over that long period I have been overloaded with thoughts and feelings on the world home and what it means to me. What it is to me.
My best friend was my sister and my soul mate, she is my sister and my soul mate. She passed away when we were 15 and I have never felt home since. I’m 19 now and over the past 4 years I have been aimlessly wandering through life not really feeling like I fit in anywhere. I’m not an outcast, I still had friends but it’s that thing where you sit in a room full of people and still feel alone. I’ve never met or known anybody since that I connect to on the same level as I did her and I don’t expect to, I’m not even sure I want to. She was my person and my home, and where do you go when the floorboards get taken up from beneath your feet? When it first happened, I would look for her in everyone and everything, I needed something to fill this gaping hole in my life, in my heart, and I needed something that felt like her. Nothing was familiar anymore, it still doesn’t feel familiar four years down the line, everything feels like foreign territory and I needed something to bring me back to myself because it’s terrifying how much she was me. Half of me was made up from pieces of her and so when she passed not only did I lose her, I lost myself too. I miss the old me very dearly and I know I’ll never get her back or find her again but it really made me appreciate the girl that I was at the time. When my home was snatched away from me without any warning I turned frantic, as a 15 year old girl suddenly having to grow up very fast and feel isolated from everyone it’s extremely scary, I wish I could go back and give her a hug, telling her she’s going to take on the world all by herself.
I didn’t feel safe anymore, nothing gave me comfort. As I said, I looked for her in everyone and everything and when I couldn’t find her I would become angry and frustrated inside, like it was other people’s fault that they weren’t like her. I was so desperate, I needed something, anything to make me feel even a little bit safe, to give me a little bit of comfort, but nothing came. I learned to deal with it the hard way but it made me realise what home was to me. It was a person, a feeling. Four years later I still haven’t found or felt anything that makes me feel like home, I have not found a person that gives me the same comfort and connection that she did but I have found home in other things, in objects, creations. Harry Styles, Lana Del Rey, Skins the TV show, The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger and All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. The list is short but nevertheless it is so nice to have things that bring me back to myself and give me the feeling of home, whatever that is. Here is a piece I wrote at the beginning of this year that I’ve never shared before, I hope you can take something from it.
I wish I could find someone that makes me feel like home. I’m writing this now because I need to say it, I feel like I can’t wait until later else I’ll probably lose my train of thought and not get everything out properly. I’m sitting here thinking about Frank Ocean, his songs playing in my mind as always. I think it’s because the sun is out today and there’s not a cloud in the sky, which always makes me think of Channel Orange, old America, LA, California etc. Nostalgia. I just had this feeling, I don’t know what it was and I’m not sure if I’ve felt it before, it was actually more of a realisation maybe. I was daydreaming about the whole scenario of nostalgia and Frank, which I find myself doing a lot. I’d drifted off and I was somewhere else and I felt good. Like yes, this is good, this is okay. I felt comfortable, like I had a sense of belonging, like yes this is the thing I’m drawn to. You know? That probably doesn’t make sense. To word it another way would be to say that there are some things in this world that my soul is automatically drawn to as it is at the base of who I am, and things like nostalgia and Frank and the whole old American thing is one of them I guess, because it reminds me of the summer when things were okay I suppose, so it makes me feel some type of way. I think it makes me feel free, nostalgic and like I’m home. And then I snapped back out of it into reality and found myself here at my work desk staring at my computer screen, the words becoming blurry as I couldn’t seem to focus on them.
All of this happened within a millisecond, the amount of short time it takes for your brain to instantly switch from one thought to another just like that. But it made me feel something and I had to write it. It was the absence of the feeling as soon as I snapped back into the real world that made me write it, because I just thought I cannot think of a single person that I know right now that can make me feel as comfortable as what I felt in that split second. The only person that could do that is her, or maybe even a collection of people that were in my life during that time / summer that would remind me of it and make me feel like that again. No one else has that about them, I think it’s the whole Frank and Lana thing that does it because it relates back to that time. And I can’t let go of that time but I don’t want to because it’s not a bad memory for me, it’s goodness. It’s sunshine. It’s more significant because it was quite soon after what happened yet little did I know nearly 4 years down the line it would be the only thing that made me feel like her again, made me feel like home. There’s definitely an absence of that within me and I felt it for that split second I was thinking of Frank, the whole “man, I wish I was on that plane” thing again.
And then it went, and I felt it go and I was empty again and then I thought, I need to write this down. I don’t know if anyone or anything will make me feel that way again, there’s a quote that says you can never feel the same love twice and I think I believe that, so maybe I won’t find something that makes me feel like that kind of home again, like Paradise. That’s how she made me feel, Paradise. It’s funny how you don’t realise things until they’re gone. I would give anything to feel like that again because it’s the only place I feel like I belong, it’s the only time I feel like I have a true sense of belonging, a sense of home. A sense of yes, this is where I should be and this is what my soul is for, what it’s drawn to. It was her, it was the whole thing. It was Lana, it was Frank, it was nostalgia, summer, old America. It was freedom and belonging and knowing that there was a person next to me who would choose me over anything and who truly knew everything I was made of, because she was made it of it too. I’m trying really hard not to cry because it breaks my heart and the fact I’m sitting here writing this breaks my heart too, I break my own heart every time I choose to think about it but I can’t stop because I’m a writer and it’s what I do, it’s how I feel. It’s part of me. I’m glad I got to feel it, to know what home feels like. That home was the only place I will ever truly belong and maybe it’s fate that I might not feel it ever again, maybe it would ruin it to feel it twice. But I would like to go back there someday, or maybe I’ll end up creating it myself and living in my own Paradise, sitting there listening to Frank and Lana, writing under the clear blue sky with the sun making everything hazy and nostalgic. Who knows.
I just needed to write it, to try and recreate the experience and the feeling, the wonder of feeling home and trying not to feel sad that I can’t go back there anymore, because it was beautiful. It was so beautiful and I don’t want to turn that into something sad, so I’m trying to just remember it for what it was and I know that it’s still here within me, in my soul. Maybe that means I am my own home because I’m the only one who contains all of this and like I said, I cannot think of a single other person that does. No one could recreate this beauty, this feeling of Paradise and nostalgia. That’s why Lana is so important me, she’s the thing that keeps me connected to whatever it is that I lost. I do hope I find it again, even if that means looking in the mirror one day and smiling at the person staring back at me and realising hey, maybe I am home. Maybe I can make this work.
As Rudy Rucker once said, I think someday we’ll find our way back to the Garden of Eden.
“and it’s alright, calling out for somebody to hold tonight…if you’re lost I’ll find the way I’ll be your light, you’ll never feel like you’re alone. I’ll make this feel like home…”
All my love,