Saturday, August 27, 2011


home |hōm|
1 the place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household : I was nineteen when I left home and went to college | they have made Provence their home.
• the family or social unit occupying such a place : he came from a good home and was well educated.
• a house or an apartment considered as a commercial property : low-cost homes for first-time buyers.

I'm home for the weekend. I love coming here when I feel like I don't belong anywhere, but sometimes I can't take it. I've always been lucky. I grew up loved and fed and happy. I had security and more love than I could stand. I had a wonderful education, my parents are still married (36 years on), and apart from a few idiosyncracies we are the picture of the ideal family unit.

And yet, walking down the familiar passage bedecked with photographs from my childhood gives me this overwhelming sense of emptiness sometimes. My family home brings about a melancholy that's almost crushing. I'm more aware of my mortality when I'm here. I'm more afraid of losing everything that this home represents. I'm more conscious of the opportunities that others (including more than half the people in this house) never had. I feel more subjected to fate when I'm here.

I guess a part of it has to do with the dreams of a past version of me that never came to fruition: Dreams that I dreamed in this house - by myself, with my best friend, with my first love; dreams my parents had for me, and mine for them. Maybe also the memory of people who used to fill this house - an adored grandmother, a loved aunt, a brother who is sometimes just too far away. When I come home I can't ignore any of these things. I can't shut anything out, because I become aware of all these things almost simultaneously.

My happiest memories share a wall with my only understanding of loss. My childhood dreams stayed behind with all the potential those who love me still see in me. I don't know how to deal with it.

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