It’s so cliché, but it’s so true.
I spent most of my teenage years wishing that I was somewhere else. Anywhere else. Away from the people. Away from the dull silence of my teeny tiny village. Away from the hour-long bus ride that it took to get anywhere. Away from the nights out, bumping into exes and enemies. Away from the mundanity and the people that would spend their whole lives there, just existing. Somewhere away from home.
But then you move away. You move away from all of those things, from your family and your familiarity, and all of the things that you were trying to escape, seem like a small price to pay for comfort. But without moving away, you wouldn’t appreciate any of it. It doesn’t seem so precious when you have it all at the tip of your finger. I now feel like my home is like a battery pack, and I just go back when I’m low in power and need to recharge. Whenever my battery gets to full, I’m always ready to go again. I couldn’t live at home because I’d never be unplugged from that constant supply of power. But you have to use it eventually, go off and drain the percentage.
Obviously you have to pay your own bills, wash your own everything and live somewhere new, out of your comfort zone and away from everything you know. I constantly wonder when I’ll stop needing my Mum. It’s instinctual for me to need her in crisis. Yesterday I had a breakdown (my car didn’t break down, I did) on the Elephant and Castle roundabout. I must have honestly gone around it 5 times, before eventually getting off, sobbing and ringing my Mummy. It’s so pathetic. But it’s also kind of beautiful? The fact that I have her at the end of the phone, the fact that I innately need her. This isn’t the best example of when you would commonly feel an innate need for your parent, or for a piece of home. But there are times when nothing else will suffice.
Home to me is a pitch-black bedroom, with nothing but the sound of birds to wake you in
the morning. Home is endless green fields and slinging on a pair of cold wellies that you forgot to bring inside. Home is knocking on the door at my Aunties and being greeted with a cup of tea and a rich tea biscuit. Home is my Dad saying to me every morning DRIVE CAREFULLY, even when I’m not driving anywhere. Home is the horse racing and dancing on the tables with people that have been by my side through the best and the worst times. OH, MY GOSH and home is getting into bed with my Mum to watch ANOTHER BBC drama. Home is being hungover on a Sunday and being woken up by the smell of breakfast cooking and my parents arguing about something silly. Home is being 15 minutes away from Faye in the car. Home is going to see the family that I used to nanny for and spending hours being a rabbit outside in a tree house. Home is arguments with people that I love. Home is going to the gym in a barn in the middle of a farm. Home is Sunday lunch where I can’t see straight by the end of it. Home is red cushions and the smell of wood burning. Home definitely isn’t just a place. But it isn’t just the people either. It’s a potion made to cure me of insecurity, doubt and loneliness, because no matter what’s happening in my life, my home will keep me safe. Even if I spend the whole time arguing with my family, or hating the fact that I’m being endlessly nagged, or I have to walk through town with my head down because I look like shit and I don’t want to see anyone I know, OR I BUMP INTO MY EX’S MUM WHEN ALL I’M TRYING TO DO IS GET THE TESCO SHOPPING IN MY PYJAMAS.
Home is lying in bed and feeling like World War III could be happening outside, and it just wouldn’t matter.
I’ve made a home here in London, a home where I feel safe, supported and like I truly have the next best thing. But no matter how hard I try to be independent, spread my wings and live for myself, I end up needing to go home eventually. Just for a little bit, just to recharge my battery.
For a while I thought it was a negative thing that I loved going home so much. I thought it meant that I wasn’t progressing, that I wasn’t ‘moving away’ and that I was just a bit of a wet blanket. But actually, I think I’ve just realised what’s important in life. Opportunity, adventure and scandal are all high on the list, but so is family, grounding and support. Life is all about balance, so when you have all of those things, you’re winning. I probably learnt this lesson when my Dad was ill. Cancer is a your worst nightmare, but it will bring your family closer than you could have ever imagined. It will make home both unbearable and magnetic. It will make you realise that we’re her for a good time, not a long time.
I understand how blessed I am to have a home so whenever I can, I go back and appreciate the good and the bad. I even stand and ask VERY polite questions about an ex’s new girlfriend, or lean on the bar listening to someone I went to school with tell me what they’re doing now, when I couldn’t really give two shits, I let my Mum tell me what to do as if I’m ten, and I definitely let my Dad slip me a tenner because he’s worried that I have no money. Which I don’t, so thanks Dad.
I went home this weekend, I danced on the tables, I lay in a ball of love on the sofa, I ate a roast, I bumped into an ex’s Mum, I saw people that I didn’t want to see because I looked like shit, I saw people that I did want to see because I looked great, I went on a walk and saw nothing but green, I ate so much that I could have exploded, I forgot about any stress or worry that I had had about my ‘real life’ and I fucking loved it.