I’m not sure I know exactly where home is. I suspect it has something to do with perceiving each moment with as little interference from past experience, from beliefs I’ve adopted, as possible. I’ve only had glimpses of what that might look like. It’s not a place I know well, or if I ever did, I have no remembrance of knowing it well.
The times when it has felt like I’ve found a piece of home, I notice a bit of contentment settles in, and it feels as though I’ve found at least a small part of where I belong. It doesn’t stay. Part of me, most of me, wants it to, but I wonder if I would keep nudging myself to the next edge if it did stay.
The night after I decided to start writing this piece, I had a dream. I was in the house where I spent most of my childhood years. Two homeless people walked in and, it appeared, decided to take up residence in one of the bedrooms. I was in my room sorting or organizing things when I realized my backpack and everything in it was gone. I desperately searched for it, but did not find it anywhere. In that dream world, it felt like I had lost everything, as though my backpack represented a whole way of being, everything I knew and all that was familiar. I felt lost, as though so much of what gave meaning to my life was now gone and I was not sure how I should think, what I should say or do next.
I am defined by beliefs born out of the sum total of my experience, though it is not my experience itself that has written the story of who I appear to be, but rather what I took away from those experiences, how I understood them and the meaning I made from them. I have spent a good portion of my middle age trying to uncover, to be more aware of, what I’ve learned, of what I came to believe, that seems to guide who I am in this world.
And over the past years I’ve started to deconstruct, to explore those structures, all that I think I know and that I’ve surrounded myself with, all that I began building shortly after I came into this world. This is painful at times. Disorienting. I question myself often, sometimes wondering if there is any validity to any new understandings that might arise. This too has its origins in what I came to understand, a belief that says something like, “don’t trust your perceptions, your gut; others will tell you what is real”. Not that questioning isn’t useful. Both ‘questioning as useful’ and ‘questioning as self-doubt’, can exist in the same breath.
I’m looking for home. I don’t know that I’ll ever arrive there. I don’t know that “arriving” is important. I keep walking down those less-trodden paths, in the best way I know how, in this moment, this space in time.