Evan at Living Authentically posed this question:
Take a moment to reflect on where you feel at home, and if you don’t feel at home anywhere – why not?
Home is a loaded word for me.
Growing up….the last place I wanted to be was home. It was a 4 letter word along with other words that a child can be punished for using. I moved back and forth across the United States, Boise, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; Dallas, Texas; and back to Washington then Los Angeles, California. No place felt like home until I came back to the scorching desert in Arizona. Scorpions and cactus don’t seem like the things you want to cuddle up and feel cozy with. The were familiar but does familiar mean ‘home’? The first place I felt ‘at home,’ was a photography dark room. My professor thought I was nuts. I loved the smell of the chemicals. I loved the low red lights that were barely enough to see. I loved the constant drone of the ventilation fans. I would get lost for hours in there for hours. I was territorial and didn’t want to share my space. I felt safe in the dark room. Totally the antithesis of what many people describe as home. Students laughed at me when they found out I was afraid of the dark. They couldn’t understand how a photographer could be afraid of the dark and love the dark room. I’m no longer at school. I decided not to build a dark room at our house. Chemicals are just too dangerous to be around little grandkids. What this experience taught me is that home is about a feeling. It was in the dark room with photography that I learned to accept and feel my feelings. Today, I met with possible new counselor. One of two that I am interviewing. I realize on reflection that I felt at home in her office. I felt safe, well about as safe as I am capable of feeling.
Why didn’t I feel ‘home’ in all those places? Without feeling I couldn’t feel ‘at home.’
Thanks Evan, your question put a real spin on my day. I have a lot to consider.