There is a part of me that does not want to go home. After all, what is home for me? Is it a place of memories that holds some intrinsic personal value? Is it the hub of my social network and the mecca of my family and friends? Is it the quintessential starting-and-ending point of my life’s mini-journeys?
By those definitions, no, it is not. It is a place where I lay my head. It is the apartment of a vagabond who trapsed from place to place due to unexpected life events and an inherent need for lower rent and merely uses such a dwelling as a place to subsist while I involve myself in the rest of my life.
I could make my home anywhere by that concept, I suppose.
Although, that is not entirely true and I certainly would not be happy just anywhere under just any circumstance. I resist certain elements of change steadfastly because change upsets some of the nature balance of routine that defines the personality type I am and the comfort level I am able to achieve with the world. One of those elements of resistance would be based precisely on where I live, despite the seeming transcendental relationship I have with home in that sense.
So, they say, home is where the heart is.
My heart wanders. It has no ties to my apartment in that sense. What am I coming back “home” to in that case? Not the memories. Not people. Not much more than just a vague concept of this is the closest and most affordable dwelling to provide a basic set of living needs within easy reach of my real passions, like work and my hobbies.
By that measure, so long as I could fulfill that same role somewhere else on the planet with equal perceived continuity, there would be little, if any, reason to consider where I live home.
Trust me, for a Jersey kid with a tonne of Jersey pride and a stiff upper lip to the slack the state takes along with an equal outward disdain to most other places touting some relic of a stereotype that they are even remotely better than my beloved current dwelling… to say I would leave it is as equally weird to me as it is to you.
Yet, more and more, there’s a wanderlust about me. One that was awoke many years ago dealing with life decisions that were thrust upon me in the most painful of ways. I came out for the better and it is nothing I regret surviving or in the decisions I made to survive it, but rather, it stirred something in myself I never thought was there.
So now, here I am many moons past and away from home for weeks now thinking about the possibilities that were only fleeting thoughts on previous journeys and in the latest of nights in the darkest corners of my mind. Why do I stay where I am?
What are the ties that bind?
What next? Well, to tell you the truth. I don’t know. I have nothing to run away from. I have nothing in mind to run to. So if it is not running… and it is not change per se, than what is this wanderlust tugging at my heart and what does it mean?
Who knows. I never was one to just accept anything for what it is. I question, inscesently and take little at face value if given the proper time to consider it. So, than, why have I accepted the lack of a home yet maintain some façade of one?
In talking to a friend going through a rough patch as well, I discovered, the above mentioned definition means having put down roots. I do not have transcending memories of any one place, for I stayed in few long enough to create lots of them. I do not have family to look back to because some of mine is spread out and I myself am currently single. I am one for a small, dedicated circle of friends, of which my closest and most trusted having little to do with geographical proximity to myself or one another. And the list of possible contributing circumstances could go on.
I have everything I could ever want close by, yet, what I truly may need is something else completely. And, therein lies the potential paradox.
What is it that I truly need to call someplace home?
A home is more than the sum of its parts. A place that is more than a dwelling or a congregation of people and a collection of memories. It is a dynamic entity that fosters my personal growth and well being and beckons me to be, in the grandest form of being.
Some days, the tri-state is exactly that. It provides seemingly infinite opportunity to accomplish just that and can foster precisely that, as it has in the past. It just takes me stepping away sometimes to acknowledge the concept that it indeed has.
Then, there are days like today, where looking at it from this vantage point I wonder if it can do no more and someplace else might serve that same purpose better for these next stages of life, whatever they are to be as yet defined. To that, I am still determining the answer and I feel adrift on the sea of life like a message cast away in a bottle looking for a shore for someone to read the plea for help and drag me off to a new paradise.
Perhaps the castaway concept is what fuels the wanderlust I am feeling. There’s an equal perception of possibility on those foreign shores I cannot begin to fathom that is what is counter tugging on my heart against my constructed love of the tri-state. And, until the two either merge or one garners a singular tug at my inner-self I will be left in an ambiguous state, floating on and undulating with the whim of the waves.
It is a strange state for me to be in, because I consider myself an ambitious person by most definitions and I strive for a center in my life, so to be homeless in my mind is counter intuitive to that self-perception. The undulating thoughts are turbulent at times as I am pulled from emotion to emotion trying to determine what is the fact among all the truths I seem to have collected about having a home.
And, so, there is no definitive answer, as with much in life. Only that which I choose and the subsequent course I end up on having chosen, yet, even still to not chose, as I am right now, is still making a choice. Thus the eternal, yet subtle paradox of existence itself.