According to most popular definitions of the word home, the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household, I should consider the apartment/house/area/neighborhood in which I occupy to be home. Therein lies my problem with popular definitions of words that are not static in their definition, they don’t account for the mutations and connotations associated with the existence of such a place. I wish it did but then I wouldn’t be writing all this.
I am currently living in the same city that I always have. It feels no different than any other period in time. Sure the people have changed a little, and things have gotten cleaned up(or dirtier depending on the neighborhood) but its still at its heart the same place its always been. It is not a particularly nice place, it teaches us to be pretty ruthless in every endeavor we might hope to take because nothing gets done otherwise. It also gives you a snapshot of every culture and subculture you could ever imagine so believing something is strange in an of itself a strange reaction. Its the biggest place in this world, while trying to always be bigger. But small enough always to be there no matter how far you have to reach sometimes. I can’t hold it because its not mine, but I can feel it because it lets me. i can’t know it, because its never the same, but i can see it never really changing.
So if this city is where I live, why doesn’t feel like home?
That is a question i have yet to successfully answer. But I think i might know where home might be. But to define it i have to explain where it intrinsically came from.
I began asking myself the question about two years ago. I was, as we all were, a very different person back then. I had no idea where I was headed, I had a degree, but that wasn’t doing much.
I had a couple jobs, not really going places, except frankly places i didn’t really care to be.
I had friends, all busy with life, and the woes of coming of age in an era where nothing made sense socially, and jobs were not designed for those without the experiences of other jobs.
I was just trying to find meaning in everything I did. I was looking to the strange words i would undoubtedly fill notebooks with, that told me that there was light somewhere in this perpetual night. That i might not be alone in this miasma of confusion and self doubt which plagued my very existence for as long as I could recall, because i was at that point conscious enough to see that they existed outside of who I thought myself to be. I would write, and I would fling myself into despair because all the roads that I sought had closed due to one circumstance or another, but mostly because i never felt safe enough to risk anything.
I grew up with this need for stability, for abject permanence that I could never understand. That there was a single thread of my life that would always guide me along my “path” in life and that “thread” at that moment in my life, had run out months ago. I was now floating without a paddle, down an uncertain stream that I had never anticipated, to nowhere.
I had this vision of crashing into some rocks and having my skin torn to shreds so I could cut into myself and fix the maladies of my insides as i took the time to heal, but all i felt was the calm motion of the creek, slowly floating along to what I would call, the end of time. For time, as I had known it, had stopped. There was no more progression, no more infuriating but fleeting romances, no more, finding the time to squeeze in one more project that would inevitably go by the wayside but was more fun to think about and dick around on then any project ever worth completing. I had had enough of the doing nothing, and I wanted to go home.
Home, the place where I did not have to view the world as a project, or view the projects as things I needed to let consume my life. Where I could calm the madness of my heart, mind, and reclaim the idea that I might have a soul, that could once again exist except not as the “rules” I imposed upon myself but the wondrous freedom that every human feels when alive. It was a place where I didn’t have to be, but I was happy being there because it didn’t need to be. It was where my mother wasn’t trying to do anything but enjoy knitting on the couch without having to make sure that a clash of egos wouldn’t break out. Where my Father was still himself, in a position that could be there for me in my madness and my confusion, to teach me that life goes on and that we never stop becoming whomever we would eventually become. Where my siblings could pursue whatever they would want to because they weren’t looking for happiness outside anymore, they could be happy with who they were in everything they did.
Home, a place where I could exist without feeling like the world wasn’t about to collapse all around me if i didn’t work to make sure it wasn’t falling apart.
Home, the place where when I had nothing, I could sit and realize that I had so much more then nothing.
Home, where furniture was optional and the warmth of my being able to see the world as it was meant to be seen, was possible.
A place more ideal then possibly heaven.
That is what I pined for, all I wanted was a break from the sameness of the days prior, and the madness of not knowing what the days ahead would bring.
But what ended up happening, was me burying it. Digging a large grave, letting it die. Because, as I’ve mentioned in the past, It wasn’t real. I was looking to take a break from the reality of things and I was making sure that I couldn’t move forward without the “rest” at home.
But before I took the leap into the shallows of murder, I was sent away, to a place where I really didn’t want to be, but couldn’t have been more glad to end up. I was in a place where all I had was myself and occasionally the outside, but it was an average of 100 degrees a day, so my outdoor activities were summarily limited. I had met a few people, but mainly hoped the entire time to get out. To get back home.
I was still consumed with this desire to find this ideal place, where everything would just make sense. Where people were rational and not confusing to each other, where again i wasn’t consumed by this need to find the next thing that would potentially make things simpler in my life.
So I first turned to the thing that I thought would get me there the fastest: Hypnosis. Oddly enough it did change me slightly, but it mostly just let me think differently for short bursts of time. I will expound on what I learned from those experiments at a later time, because that was fascinating journey in an of itself. That showed me that home was literally nowhere to be found, and that success is something that you can just whisper to yourself in your sleep? Suffice it to say, I couldn’t stick with it for longer then a few weeks.
Then my embattled soul turned to the great minds of the last few hundred years. I was looking for my answers in their lives, and I was finding myself following down their paths. Searching for anything to remove me from the clutches of abject mediocrity, as they once had, I began planning to plan again, a futile task that led me back to the start because I was too blinded by my inflated “genius” ego that I forgot to acknowledge that things had actually changed since these men once had a chance to live. Their lives were not necessarily their own but those of the circumstances to which they accepted and owned, they went living to separate themselves from what they already knew, they would work to go deeper and deeper in order to see where they might one day end up, not hoping to get there, just hoping to be anywhere.
That was helpful but still did not answer my question, could I ever go home?
So then i turned to meditation and Taoism. At this point approximately 15 months have passed and I am back where I was originally, but with wildly different circumstances. I am gainfully employed, for a company that doesn’t want to strip-mine me for any and every skill set I have, as well as having gone through the first phase of a physical transformation that would propel me into thinking about being healthier as well. I was still looking though, always watching to make sure I wouldn’t fall into despair because I did not know what the future would hold.
But the want would always return. In the most devious of manners it would infiltrate my psyche and make me question what was next and why I wasn’t going home. Why I couldn’t feel at all content with anything that I did. It didn’t feel right, even with the armament of consciousness and awareness that Taoist teachings had endowed me with, I could see the discomfort, I could sit with the discomfort, but I could never do anything about it.
So I let it go.
I decreed that as much as I wanted to go home. There was no home for me. That home was now figment of the proverbial imagination that I was letting run wild in an uncontrolled environment. So it learned to die when it needed to.
The problem with killing things yourself, is that they’re never dead. They always come back in some way shape or form and again beg the same questions, with different phrases.
I’ve found it a few times since I’ve started, but never alone, and every time, I lose it again I know that its gone, but it doesn’t stop me from instantly starting to look for it again.