I’ve always enjoyed the sentiment of calling someone else my home. It’s one of my favorite similes in regards to love- to find a person that is so comfortable, so perfect for me, that they feel just like a place I want to live in forever.
Yet if I’m honest, this idea has done me more harm than good. Because once you start searching for people to be the place you settle down in, so determined that you remain out in the cold until you find that person, you tend to forget about you.
I’ve treated my own self as a hotel or a vacation house- a temporary place until I found a home. I didn’t treat myself like I’d be staying here long. I didn’t treat myself these last twenty something years like my own skin was where I was supposed to be. I looked around in this hollow space and never tried to fix it up, never tried to settle down in myself. Maybe I was afraid if I did, I would never find someone to spend forever with. Maybe part of me was nervous to honestly settle down at all, if I’m honest.
And perhaps that’s why I found others like me- hollowed hotel eyes and temporary vacation condo mouths on restless beaches. Apartment embraces that felt right for awhile only for the lease to turn up too soon. I found others who were uncomfortable in their own skin, or perhaps they just truly enjoyed going from one bed to the next, no place to call home. People with wanderlust spilling through their veins.
I told myself these people could be home, even when I knew it wasn’t the truth.
It can be exciting for awhile—moving from one person to the next, always throwing your things in a bag and taking off on an adventure, never knowing quite where you’ll end up or how long you will stay. Eventually though, even if it takes years, it catches up to you. You start to honestly want that place to call your own- the place that you know you can safely come back to and never worry that your time is up there. Once you hit that place, it can feel a bit like desperation- panic filling your mind about where, or who, on Earth you’re supposed to settle down with.
Honestly, I’ve realized that I had a place all along—me. I decided I’m the place I’m going to call home. That I should’ve been calling home for all this time.
It may not be exactly the way I want it to be- I did neglect it for so long. It has been covered in dust and kept in the dark. Yet I’m not making any more excuses about why my own skin isn’t the place I should be living in. It is home, right now: not when I find someone to help paint these walls a brighter shade, not when a pair of blue or green eyes come in to create stained glass windows that shine light in the dark corners, not me depending on someone who can keep the roof from leaking and the floorboards from creaking with past memories.
No. It’s today, when I recognize that I live here, and I will finally fix up this place to call mine. I’ll decorate it with my own hopes and dreams. I’ll light some candles, and I’ll make it my own. Maybe I will let someone in, eventually. Maybe I will let them unpack boxes and leave their keys on the coffee table and their jacket on the back of the couch.
Yet, whether it is with two of us, or whether it’s just me–that will actually be okay.
It’s starting to become my favorite place to live. It’s starting to feel like home.