Home : All we seek is the feeling of home. – Menghan Fu – Medium
I’ve been away from my country of birth for 22 years now and it still feels like home. The ‘home’ feeling is a motley of people and feelings pieced into a security blanket- family members who I love and cherish, friends from childhood, food that comforts my stomach, a culture I intuitively understand- things that keep me safe.
If I fall, I know there will be someone or something to help me up at home.
When my mom, dad and I moved to the States, the concept of home was still there. My security blanket was different there- friends I met through school, work, travels, the pedigreed shield of academia and jobs, the assurance that people, institutions and systems I belong to would defend me when things were unjust.
In the past two years I’ve encountered places that are not home.
I have the feeling that if I fall in these strange places, no one will help me get up.
With all that’s going on and all that I’ve seen around the world, most people have it a lot worse. I’m feeling sorry for myself at the moment, but this isn’t the purpose of the piece. I’m having trouble piecing together the below experiences to figure out what to make of them. Writing and sharing this is helping.
Last year I lived in Karachi by myself and hosted a male colleague for dinner in my apartment. At 10pm, when most Pakistani families are sitting down for dinner, my landlord angrily knocked on my door, told me off for having a man over, called me a liar and devil. I was so angry and embarrassed that I stormed out of that apartment that very night. It didn’t feel like home anymore.
In October I moved into my first and only flat-share in Berlin. The rancor of my flat mate pervaded my space. It wasn’t my home.
I quickly found a new room with a view. However last week my landlord ‘politely’ told me that despite paying rent, I should not be in the apartment when he is working from home.
He might as well have screamed ‘whore’ at me in the middle of a humid Karachi night. The effect is the same. It’s not home anymore.
I’m processing this year of escaping from negativity and being the unwelcomed guest. It’s jolting me after years of peacefully living in various flats and cities with kind flat mates, landlords, and the feeling that I belonged.
Is it them? Is it me?
Right now I feel angry, vengeful, and sad that there are selfish and unkind people who make you feel unwelcome in your own world. But I know I need to acting the victim and simply walk away from those who pushed me down.
These things have helped me feel grateful:
· Turning to friends in Berlin, Malta and around the world to share what’s happened, how I’m feeling, and to seek consolation. I rarely do this. I’m comforted that so many people here for me when I need help to get back up.
· Continuing to work and make money to quickly find a new space. I’m thankful always for this piece of my security blanket.
·Avoiding my old space when possible until I move out completely. I’m meeting friends for walks, dinners, sleepovers.
I’m channeling my energies into creating a new, welcoming space around me. Things aren’t that bad. Vent it out, regain perspective, move on.