So after my breakup with London at the beginning of the year, I have had to admit that I was wrong, and ask for forgiveness. Luckily, London is a pretty understanding mistress. After some time away, I came to see that sometimes absence really does make the heart grow fonder (I know it’s super cliche, but it’s true!) I am incredibly pleased to say that I’m back!!
I was gone for all of 6 months before I started to realise I had made a mistake. It then took another few months to get myself sorted and plan everything for my triumphant return.
But now I am once again an adopted Londoner
Writing those words fills me with joy, and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside (that could also be the chai latte I’m currently drinking though…) Ealing is my new home, and West London is a revelation! I can walk to the tube station now, I have a W postcode, and I’m only 20 minutes away from a big shopping centre/high street. This is all currently pretty novel, having been here just over 2 weeks I’m still settling in and getting used to my new environment. However I can honestly say, for the first time in a really long time, possibly ever, I feel like I am home.
The other big change is that I’m really, properly living with friends. It means I can open my bedroom door and have someone to talk to if I’m feeling rubbish, or celebrate with my flatmates if something good happens. We can share meals, buy food shopping together, and there’s always somebody to gossip with or watch a film. If I want my own space I can just retreat to my room too – I’m working on making it the cosiest, most organised and happy space I can.
It’s so great to come home at the end of the day to some of my favourite people being around.
This has got me thinking about what home really means. Growing up I never really felt ‘at home’. We lived on a council estate on the outskirts of Bristol, in a ground floor flat that was covered in damp and mess. I dreamed of my ‘perfect’ bedroom; featuring a big purple bed, a mini second level with either a fireman’s pole or a slide down to the ground, and lots of books. Hours of my childhood were spent hunched over Argos catalogues, circling all the things I would have if we won the lottery. Especially after Mum started getting ill, that atmosphere wasn’t very homely. Once I started being there on my own, it became a place that I did my best to stay out of except when I needed to sleep.
For me home has always been a somewhat unobtainable concept.
Now though, I feel like I finally get it. That feeling when you unlock the front door, kick off your shoes, and put down your bags. The sound of the kettle boiling on a Sunday morning, and your housemates chatting in the living room. It’s the fact you can finally put up your pictures and awards, and keep your mugs in the kitchen knowing they won’t get stolen. For many people family is home, but for me it is finally having somewhere to belong after so long feeling adrift. I am sure it as much to do with the people as the physical space, but more than either, it’s feeling like you are in the right place when for as long as you can remember you have felt like you were ‘in transit’.
I am finally home, and I couldn’t be happier.
What does home mean to you? Is it a place? A person? Something else? Tell me in the comments!
Have a great day,