What a ride this has been. I read an inspiring post written by my friend Jen (filmmaker and award-winning blogger – check her blog out!) and this quote really hit home with me: “I felt like I was cheating on Birmingham for so long by loving this city, but I’ve come to learn that it’s ok to be happy in more than one place.”
I have left little fragments of my heart in different places. Florida, Sweden, Georgia, and now I am back in Sweden again. In less than a month I will be moving to Ibiza and last night I proudly showed some friends around Munich in my dreams. And at other times my dreams take me back to England and its capital city and lush countryside.
When I was younger I felt like I didn’t belong. I felt so torn in two, unable to fit in to one place the same way others seemed to. There was always a large part of me that the people around me could not understand, no matter where I went, so I often felt lost and misunderstood.
No matter where I found myself, I spent countless hours longing for the missing elements – the things I held dear that seemed to fall out of my grasp as soon as I boarded an airplane that would carry me off to a new life. In doing so, I never felt rooted and I constantly wondered where home was. In my mind, home was a place – a place that would somehow sew the two halves of my heart together.
But as I grew older I began to understand that home isn’t a place; Home is people, experiences, and memories, and home is the wisdom you gain and the lessons you learn. Home is the kind stranger you engage in small talk with on the bus, smiling children, and the people who support you. Home is handing coffee to a homeless man on a cold street corner and an overwhelming feeling of bliss and fascination when going somewhere you’ve never been. Home is anything you want it to be, anywhere you want it to be.
So if you feel alone, just remember that we live in a great big place full of people we have never met, and full of countless experiences that beckon, and if we’re all alone, then we’re all together in that too.
Photo credit: Brooke Saward