Most of my life, I’ve been a pretty determined little nester who greatly enjoys having a nice space to live and all the comforts of home. We’re not talking Martha Stewart levels here, but I’ve been very firmly tied to the idea of a sanctuary of my own, a safe space to get away from the world, a place I can decorate, dream, adapt, and imagine possibilities for its future. When I’ve moved somewhere, it’s always been with the intention of staying years (apart from that one hellhole after graduate school, but we won’t get into that). I’ve always wanted it to be a place I felt good coming back to, whether from work, errands, or vacation.
Something dawned on me today. Do you know that feeling when you come back from a long trip away, and you arrive back home? And everything is intimately familiar, but maybe slightly off because you’ve been away and you remembered things a little differently or your perspective is a bit different? But all your stuff is more or less as you left it, and there’s sort of an “ahhh” feeling of relief as you sink back into place, and a reassurance that you’ve arrived. It doesn’t take long before you’re settled back in and everything feels normal again.
I’m not going to have that for quite some time. My personal home, as I knew it, is gone. Almost all my stuff is in storage. Each location I’ll be at for the next six months is has a definite time limit. I have a sort of “home base” at Matthew’s, but it’s different now, more like a place to touch down before taking flight again; I’m not settled in there. After these travels, I expect to take root in Vancouver or at least British Columbia again, but it’ll be practically from scratch, bringing things out of storage and looking at them with baffled fresh eyes (why did I keep that?! oh I forgot I had this, this is great!) rather than just porting stuff from one home to another.
I’m coming back, sure. But I’m not coming back to a home in the same way.
I would have thought this would freak me out. And yet I’m not even waiting for the other shoe to drop; this is my fifth location since I left my place at the end of June, so I’ve had time to get a feel for it. I thought it’d terrify me to be ungrounded, and instead I feel untethered, afloat. I know eventually I’ll want a “forever home” again, but there’s a blankness at the idea of trying to find one – it’s just not time for that right now.