Friday, 18 November 2016

There's No Place Like Home

"Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition." 

Going home is one of the best feelings in the world. Whether it's walking through the door after a long day at work, returning after a holiday, or coming back after a long term at uni, home has always provided a sense of warmth, and a sense of relief. And now, for the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm at home. Every day. And every day, I'm coming home. 

I feel like I've lived in a lot more houses than many people my age, and I always feel a bit jealous of those whose parents still live in the house they were born in, or the only house they remember. I remember some of my houses as houses, and some of them as homes. Going to university seemed like 3 years of moving between houses (or rooms), none of which ever really felt like places you could really go home to. Whether it was the damp carpets, the prospect of pesto pasta for the tenth night in a row, or the living with people who kind of had their own lives, their own things going on, who weren't waiting for you or expecting you, it just wasn't the same. At the same time I went to university, my family moved houses too. So coming home never really felt like home. Sure, it was a house with the same people, and a lot of the same stuff, but it always felt a bit more empty, a bit less cosy, and I never spent enough time there to ever truly know it as home. 

But today, and tomorrow, and the next day, I will be coming home. To my new home, and the first home I feel like I've had in kind of a long time. It's a place I look forward to going, and I enjoy being in. It's a place I can spend all day, and all night, and all of the next day. It's somewhere that I feels belongs to me (us), even though it very much belongs to our landlord, because it's full of our stuff, and our photos, and our lives. The kitchen cupboards are (almost) always full, and there's always a cosy blanket on the sofa. There are shelves full of our books, and reminders of places we've been and the things we've done everywhere. It feels warm, and full, and safe. And it's quiet, and you feel like you're alone, even though you're in a complex of flats. It's perhaps the first place I've ever lived where I enjoy being by myself, instead of wondering when someone else was coming back. 

I never thought I'd ever feel like London was my home, forever feeling like I belonged somewhere less busy, less lit and less...claustrophobic. But I do, and I feel more at home than I have in a really long time. Home isn't always about where you are, but who you are, who you're with, and what makes you feel. 

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