A few months ago, my Dad sold the home I grew up in and, since I live an ocean away, much of what I had stored there got moved to the new place with him.
Part of my recent holiday was spent sorting boxes of keepsakes into keep and toss piles, which was surprisingly more emotional for me than I thought it would be. I have always chosen to take part or to go places rather than to buy things so discovering I was so sentimental came as quite a shock. I dug through a mass of books, school assignments, posters, cassette tapes, playbills, ticket stubs, favourite toys as well as boxes of items made by my grandparents, given to me by family, and created by my mother. It struck me that all that I kept reminded me of what made me who I am. Unfortunately, some of it had been damaged beyond repair. Other items just seemed too silly to keep.
Now, as the old me slips away and the new me is still so far out of reach, I am afraid that tossing away those memories will make me disappear too.
Do I matter anymore now that my things are stored in someone else’s house instead of my childhood home?
I hadn’t realised until this clean out that the reason I had felt comfortable to roam was because I always had a home to return to when I needed. That feeling is gone. Although I don’t really miss the house itself and I am very happy for my Dad’s next chapter, I feel like I have lost the one place where I always felt that I belonged.
I’m okay being an outsider. That’s one role I grew accustomed to a long long time ago. The difference is I was comfortable with and proud of who I was then. I was confident in my skills and sure of my identity. Now, I am struggling to keep my head above water, floating through a thick inhospitable fog.
Home is where the heart is. I do believe that. I know I have people who love me but most are so very far away. My heart is so shattered I am afraid it is no longer capable of defining what my family and I need most.
I will be a guest in that new home.
I am a tenant in mine.
I am a foreigner.
Where do I go now when I need to feel that warmth?
I am lost. Please let me find my home.