People often ask questions about home: where it is, what it’s like, if you miss it and if you’ll ever go back. It’s a conversation starter, an icebreaker. At the end of 2011, the year I finished high school, if you asked about my home, I would have politely told you, “I love it, and home is home, but I am TOTALLY READY TO MOVE OUT”. On the inside, I was pretty much screaming “CAN I MOVE ALREADY”. I’m sure you all understand me, I just needed a break.
The first time I returned home after I had officially moved out, was when I finished/survived my first semester of university. I had never felt so happy, and so appreciative of the little, but loving home I had grown up in, as I sat by the fire in Dad’s Lazyboy chair and my family milled around me, business as usual. What had felt claustrophobic was now pleasantly familiar, comfortably enclosing me like a mink blanket. What had felt inadequate, dated and confining, now felt just right.
I’m 4 years out of home now. Every time I return, I get that same warm and fuzzy feeling. As I turn the creaky doorknob of my front door, slip off my shoes (#asianhome) and feel the stripy, spongy, scratchy carpet (that’s older than me) beneath my feet, I feel at ease (even after delayed flights, way-too-early wake ups and terrible flatting experiences). Having now lived in a university dorm, two student flats, one Beijing apartment and now an Auckland one, I can finally relate to the old saying, “There’s no place like home”. Dunedin was home to my student life, Beijing was a fleeting one, and Auckland, I’m still it feeling out.
However, my home in Wellington is something I know every crack and creak of. Someone will walk down the corridor, and I’ll know exactly who it is by their footsteps. The wind will blow and I know what will rattle, I know the way the water runs through the pipes. Home is where my family is, it’s where my heart is (#killingitwithcliches) and having spent 18 years growing up in it, no doubt it’s the home that’s built me.
My brother, the boyf and myself went exploring round my ‘hood on Christmas evening. We watched the sun set across the city, and wow, was it a pretty epic sight. These moments were captured by my brother, except for the one I snuck of him!
Are you home for the holidays? What’s your connection with ‘home’?