Recreating the idea of “home”

How silence can be obtained in the state of nothingness.

Photo by Sayan Nath on Unsplash

When I first visited this concept it was for a homework assignment, in class. I wrote out four places that I found myself belonging to. I connected them with the same emotions as being a home until two to three weeks later everything I thought I knew went to shatters.

I started off with the cafe that I was working at. I thought of the concept of only going to work on the weekend as a multifaceted world where I belonged as an employee. I wasn’t supposed to be connected to the people or things that were happening. In fact, as a barista my only role was to sell sandwiches and coffee. I ended up getting fired for coming to work during a bad day. Interesting the way that it made me feel. I thought I was doing everything right, but two wrongs and my time was up.

I thought of my second home as though being the place where I occasionally worked and had a dynamic relationship with the owners, my vape shop. The problem is that it’s not a place where I can constantly shower, eat, sleep, and be comfortable. I found that it’s nothing more than a place where I can just be myself and make some side money here and there.

I then began to ponder the house of a lover. I thought that spending so much time there during the weekday made for what home should be. The place where you can eat, sleep, have sex, and argue. Typically, when we think of home we think of it being where the heart is. We consider this heart to be an emotion of familiarity and warmth. However, what happens when it’s only temporary and you can’t guarantee that the address will be the only place where you live?

I then thought about my actual house. You know, the place where I pay rent. I have all of my belongings and I spend an ample amount of time there doing a lot of meticulous things such as working, being human, and stressing. But, what happens when you can’t find the money to pay the rent? Does it become a place of burden where you just don’t feel like it’s truly your own because you have to rebuy it month to month?

When I wrote this piece the first time I counted the places that mattered. I figured that the four mentioned above were all places that should be constituted as home in some sense or another. When I went back to revise the four locations I considered home I began to explain the places that I didn’t think of as a home. I found a lot of parallels.

The first, everything is temporary. There isn’t one place that will remain a point of comfort for too long because life evolves. Time moves forward. Relationships change.

Secondly, nothing can be emotionally kept. We can’t keep the things that make us feel great because eventually it will have to dissolve, but this notion is the same as nothing is permanent. The only difference is that what the heart longs for the heart can’t have.

More or less, I am stumped. What is home?

I can’t help but to realize that one of the core reasons that I’m detached, emotionally, from people, places, and things is that I’ve lost a lot. Some of the things that I lost were deeply cherished. Imagine being a five year old child that wants to have both parents under the same roof. You can’t make adults change their minds but it deeply hurts that you only see your mother on the weekends. I felt like I lost my mom, at five.

There are parts of me that feels stolen, as if my identity has been robbed. Just when I was around the age of 8 or 9 I looked forward to growing up with the kids in my elementary school. I didn’t. I shuffled school to school. It became hard for portions of my personality to be conveyed. I began to suppress who I truly was in order to adjust to new people, constantly.

It took a while before I could accept portions of myself. Race, age, experience, and culture set me apart from other kids. I wasn’t raised in places that were all black, most were middle class white suburban areas where I just didn’t fit in. I had to learn how to speak a little softer, and fade in the background just to get through the average school day.

Places I thought would be home became lost memories. Those days of being five years old living with my father were long behind me when my dad decided to marry. We moved house to house to create a black family’s dream of being financially stable. There are addresses that don’t mean a lot to me, anymore.

At 405 Lincoln Street I remember burning a robe on a lamp with my sister. At #97 Hidden Springs Drive I learned how to roller blade. At #56 Breckenridge Village we had Christmas.

All of those places escape like dreams at night; how I wish I could have hung onto them.

But, more than that, I wanted to hang onto the people inside of them.

At 14 I made the decision to leave behind my father and sisters in order to grow into something much better. I can remember being a sad adolescent. I was so busy crying, missing my mother that I started hating my father.

I hated him for trying to force another woman on me as a maternal role model. I hated him for being so hard on me. I detached myself from him.

There were portions of myself that weren’t only suppressed for school but also to survive at home. I lived in a stealth mode that begged to be released.

But, black parents are hard.

They expect the best. They want the best. And, there’s no such thing as not being best. You are the best. Those are the best lessons they give you.

Maybe, I’ve developed a sense of Stockholm syndrome towards them. I understand the perfectionistic tendencies. I get that I’m supposed to be the best. But it affected my teens. I started to search for love in all the wrong places; I began an empty journey to find home.

We could go down the standardized English list of themes in order to define what I’m concluding. The bare root of it all is that there is no such thing as home.

I once read in some Yoga book that at the root of suffering is attachment. Most of the time when people are suffering then they are attached to something external without having a way of basking in internal peace.

It stuck with me.

I began to redefine the meaning of what home happens to be. First, I fell in love with my craft of writing. Then, I reshaped my understanding of home. Something magical happened.

I realized that home was nothing more than my bare skin.

When I lie down naked at night underneath my black comforter in a dark room I feel most at home.

My advice: Stop associating home with a certain house or people that are inside of it. Realize that it’s nothing more than the essential feeling of peace. Home is an eternal state that goes wherever you are.

Close your eyes to your inner reality and realize that you can escape. It’s a timeless measure that brings a tranquility that thematically can’t be defined.

Deep breathing should encapsulate you and serve as a reminder that even when you’re detached there’s something in this reality that you’re attached to. That is, solstice.

A home isn’t a place, or where the heart is. A home is where you’re naked with yourself in a quiet room facing the consequences of your actions.

God, to me, is a feeling of peace.

To be without peace that surpasses all understanding is to be without a home.

Most think of home as being a warm place with food and children running around. But, I had that and there wasn’t much peace to be offered. There were fights at night. I was emotionally broken. The house smelled of baked chicken and depression.

Home is where I can cultivate ideas and use the black cloud as a shield from the outside world. Home is a place that all of us can escape to in order to elevate our understanding of ourselves.

Evolve. Find knowledge.

Get to a place where you can share unattached advice to people who are trying to figure out the root of their suffering.

More than that, I found knowledge about how much more peace is on the inside that manipulates life on the outside.

I was forced to stop relying on other suffering humans to explain things to me.