Thursday, May 31, 2012


I just reread my Home post from a few weeks ago.  I still believe it's all true, but a few hours ago, I faced an unexpected emotion related to the idea of home.  Heck, maybe what I experienced today confirms ideas from the other post, I just didn't quite understand the ramifications of saying my home is people and not one, but many, many places...until today.

Since I arrived in Louisville two weeks ago today, I have been staying at my parents' house because renters were living in mine.  Thankfully, the renters took excellent care of the house.  They just bought their own place and last night I got a text from them saying they are all moved out of my house, so I could now move back in.  This is what I had been waiting for and excited about.  I'd get my stuff back!  I'd have my books and new (old) selection of clothes and garden and my house!  I'd be home again, really home!!!

When I walked into my house today, I encountered something I hadn't foreseen.  I had the distinct feeling that it's not my home anymore.  My furniture and a lot of my stuff are still there, but it's not mine.  OK, technically, it's mine.  But it's not home. As my stomach was churning with this idea, I was reasoning with myself (and my mom did the same when I told her this feeling) that maybe I just need to get settled, get my pictures back up and my things back out and it'll feel like it's mine again.

I'm sure I'll get comfortable in the space again.  It'll help when I have my cats back, two of the three anyhow.  My parents, who only begrudgingly agreed to take the third, now don't want to give him up and I won't ask them to.  I'll get the other two, who have been lovingly cared for by a former student, who I might better refer to as a friend, back soon.  However, I know that even when my cats and I are moved back in, boxes are unpacked, and pictures are back up, we will only be in the house temporarily and that the space I previously inhabited is not mine anymore.  It's not home.

Besides my parents' house, I have lived in 2 other places in Louisville, an apartment and my current house.  When I walked into each space for the very first time, while looking for a new place to live, I knew immediately, even before seeing the entire space, that that particular place would be my new home.  It's the gut thing.  My gut knows when it's home.

I've never had the sensation I had today, the distinct feeling that I am not home, or if I have, I didn't recognize it and couldn't articulate it at the time.  It is an uncomfortable feeling, especially for someone who has too great an attachment to stuff.  I think my grieving process, the one I delayed by not getting rid of a lot of stuff before I left in August, is about to begin in earnest.  It's time to let go in a new and bigger way.

From talking to other people who left a "normal life" and detached themselves from stuff to do so, I know (well, I'm trying to convince myself) that ultimately, when I've let go of most of what I own, I will feel liberated, perhaps in the same way I find "I don't know" exhilarating.  But I'm not there yet.

My plans for the future are still in progress (I'll let you know them when they are a little more solid), but I know I have more amazing things ahead of me.  Truly, I know this.  If I really believe what I wrote a few weeks ago about home, then I must also believe that giving up this physical security will not leave me homeless.  That last sentence was a hard one to write.  I guess I need some time to get myself to the point of believing it or settling into its implications.  If you see me crying, you'll know why.  That's all I can write right now.    

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