Feel at home. This is what you often hear whenever you visit a close friend or family. What is home? Where is home? How do you feel at home?
Home could mean different things to different people. I believe a consensus among many is that a home is more than merely a structure with four walls – a home is not a house. However, I get why a friend or a relative would want you to feel at home when you visit them, well, at least tell you. I mean, we really can’t read human minds, right? Someone can say one thing while their heart holds another, right? But I get it. They say that to get you to relax and be yourself and not hold back from saying, using, or doing things in their space.
I would often respond to this gesture with a smile, a nod, or a ‘thank you’. How do I feel at home in your house or your city when I don’t feel at home in mine? I have never felt at home anywhere.
Growing up, we only moved houses twice before my Dad built his house. So overall, I have only lived with my parents and siblings in three different houses. So, it would be inaccurate to attribute my sense of not feeling at home to frequent relocations, as living in three houses cannot technically be considered a significant number. Of course, I felt safe living under my parent’s roof, but I never quite felt like I belonged in the city I grew up in or some of the other cities I lived in ever since I started living by myself. And I have tried to feel at home. Believe me, I have made sincere efforts.
I’ve lived alone in five different cities, yet none of them seem like home. I do not feel at home anywhere. I do not feel at home here.
This could also explain why I am not drawn to the idea of heaven and hell. Heaven could have all the splendor we have read about and more, and I would still feel out of place. I do hope there is no life after death. The idea of dissolving into the cosmic realm holds a peculiar allure to me.
Perhaps in death, I will discover a place that feels like home. Perhaps not.