For the first time since I was a young teenager returning home finally felt like it, like home. I landed in a familiar land on Friday to a familiar face, my dad, and I finally got that “I’m safe here” feeling. I never really knew how that felt. In my life as a “woman of the world” returning home used to mean the end of an adventure, a return to the place I intentionally left. It used to mean leaving new friends and great experiences. For my 2 visits last year it meant heartbreak, death and grief. It meant facing a million emotions I had been trying to bury. Now it’s 2018, a year after I lost my mum, and my trip home finally feels like home.
It may be the circumstances, it may be that it’s been a year since I’ve seen all my favourite people, but this feeling is new and old all at once. I feel safe. I feel loved. I feel familiar and I feel confident.
The strangest thing about moving to the States has been that it’s all so similar yet so so different.
Just going to the grocery store became a confusing chore. Like why is the stationary next to the frozen pizzas? Why isn’t there a sandwich section by the tills? Why are the cosmetics all bunched up in a corner? Why do the refrigerators go all the way around the perimeter?
Familiarity has always been a thing I’ve actively avoided. I’ve craved the new, the different, the exciting. Thus, returning home was a bore. I know these streets, I’ve seen these people, eaten this food. For the first time in 10 years familiarity was my craving. To be surrounded by souls that inexplicably know yours has been so calming.
The reason I’ve always loved to travel and explore is because “there are no yesterday’s on the road”.
I could be whoever I wanted to be, different from one day to the next. No body knew my past. I loved that autonomy, that freedom. My problems were no longer problems in that life. Currently, in the face of chaos my soul needed this. My soul needed those who understood my past, who know where I’ve been, know my grief. Who knew the emotional young teenager, the adventuring twenty something and now the grieving woman I have become. I needed to open my heart to those who know the insanity that is my father and knew the hilarious love that was my mum. I needed those who knew my journey through depression and self loathing to light, yoga and forgiveness.
I love my new life and I adore my new friends. But nobody there really knows my story and this familiarity has been a weight off my shoulders.