What makes a home a home?
As a grown up girl who never stayed long in one place, the talk about home always gets me clumsy. Is it a place where you were raised and grown up since kids? Is it a place where your mom and dad are living? Or is it a place where memories of your past lying?
Should it be A place? One single location? Because I have many.
Sometimes I have this envious feeling when people could easily mention one place as their home. Meanwhile, I should tell a quite long story and let people decide where my home really is. Sometimes they choose the place where I was born, sometimes it is the place I stayed the longest, or, to make it easier, sometimes they pick where my parents are currently living.
I’ve been living for not longer than 7 months in this town called Balikpapan. My parents are now somewhere in Maluku. I have another place where I and my family regularly (once a year) visit, Padang. And the real house is located in the megacity, Jakarta, the city I stayed for only 6 months, the city I don’t even close to be familiar with.
It could be a place of your childhood, a place you’re always back when you’re feeling homesick (the good thing as a consequence of my confusing home, I never felt this homesick thing), or a place where you can meet your parents. With me, I couldn’t point a single place. Those notions describing what home is really are spread into many places.
Many times I caught myself being afraid of the idea having a single place to be called home. This idea of having a single place as home to me seems like an end point, finish, you stop, no new adventure, settle down.
Yes, I am afraid of the idea to settle down. Maybe this could well explain why my relationships didn’t work out. I quit, right before it’s getting more serious, close to the point of making the next step, near to bring it into a new level, tiny bit to a line where I have to put a total commitment. I quit.
Once I blamed the way I was raised. Having no single place and always moving has made the idea of settling down out of my mind. Why should I stay? How if I get bored and want to move? How if I don’t like the place I am staying?
Since the very young age, I have learned to not put all your heart into a single point (could be place or person or anything), as everything will meet its end. Like my staying in one place, I know later I have to move again, leave the past and adapt to the new, say goodbyes then hellos. When everything is temporary, why should I pour everything? Or put all the heart? Or commit to a long term promise?
Or, maybe because everything is temporary. Why shouldn’t I?
Why shouldn’t I give everything I got, do the best I can, be the total me, fully committed? No other reason but because everything is indeed temporary. I can’t go back to the past so why don’t experience everything fully? Why should I’m afraid of goodbyes when I know goodbye is the only thing that never change?
I want to be the best friend, the greatest lover, the most curious learner, the craziest inventor, being a total being in the presence. I want to be a light in any point I am, even though I know that no point means to last forever.
Mostly an end brings only desperation but when you look back to what you have done, there will be no regret. It might hurt you as the best has come to its end, but it will be even more hurt when you learn that you didn’t do the best. The question of “what if” will linger and haunt you, makes you tremble to start.
As Dr Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”. And the only thing to be able to smile when end has come is to experience presence with a full commitment. The “what if” question will never come and it makes you ready to start a new adventure.
I might still be afraid of the idea to settle down, or maybe I will always be. But, nothing is indeed settling down. Life never settles down, it’s always rolling. Everything will eventually change. So why should I settle?
I grew up unsettled and will enjoy the rest of my time keep moving. Like the time, I will always flow. For me, a home is not a place I was raised, or a place to be back. A home is a new destination, a new family, a new story I will enjoy as long as the time given, until I should move again, unfold a new chapter again, and discover a fresh learning again. And I’ll keep moving, until eventually I come to my end. I will look back and be able to smile, feeling grateful, for everything happened.