A familiar scent, unearthing itself from an unknown source, engulfed the solitary soul in the warmth of a place called home. The sudden nostalgia struck and she took the punch, unarmed. Every breath brought forth hastily-built emotions, consequently pushing buttons in every section of the brain, signaling the activation of goosebumps on every inch of the body adorned with skin. The euphoric uprise of the goosebumps coupled with random memories being pulled out from the dusty side racks of memory lane and the heaviness of the heart giving a tough time to the already wobbly legs. Home was there, home was that one person, home was that time and home was that feeling. Home, my friend, is not a singular concept for the majority of one's life.
For the opening nine months of my human life, home was a congested urethral space that my rapidly developing form envisioned as the whole world. A good three years into the scene, home was wherever I could garner the familiar warmth of a known embrace that brought the magic potion of sleep with it.
The comfort of home remains the same even though the concept varies from the concrete structure that houses the closest of kin to the company that soothe the wounded soul. But now, a good thousand kilometres away from my safe spot, I know where home is. It is where I left my heart.
The course of life changed when I began living on my own. The mirror reflected a silhouette I'd come to embrace my entire life but my head couldn't relate to. I was in a queer land graced with unfamiliar beings who were yet to be incorporated into the tapestry of my life. Every knot, mindfully woven for the last seventeen years, was now changing its structure. The yarn of life had now begun tying and untying itself into unrecognisable patterns, crafting a new piece which was still unsure of its beauty.
The nostalgia of home hits time and again, knotting the gut into a thousand complicated figures, exhausting the self with numbing mental pain. Every step, every breath, pricking the conscious mind and bringing up the memory of a time lost in the past. The real pain doesn't surface from these constant reminders but from the hastily hidden realisation that home, irrespective of your absence, will carry on and change and you will never be any closer to it than you are now.
The phase of life where home was my everyday checkpoint has passed and given way to a chapter of yearning, uncertainty and learning. Video calls end. Surprise visits are a rarity. The flights directing us home find a torturous counterpart in those dragging us back. Every anticipatory greetings will be followed by inevitable goodbyes. Reality now demands home to be a luxury and we are apparently it's slave.
The heart in a helpless state wishes that the stays would last longer and that it was never time to bid farewell. It wishes for its mom's soothing presence every time it finds itself in a knotted situation and for dad's affirmation whenever it doubts itself. But you'll adapt to the differences that life away from life challenges you with. It is okay not knowing who you are anymore and have a hard time finding your way back to the person you were. You have always been home for an entire lifetime until now. It is okay to feel lost when a lifetime of normality has metamorphosed into one filled with anticipation and consequently, surprises. You have this lifetime to find yourself. You have this time ahead of now to discover the concept of home or to find comfort in your existing one.
Here I am, unsure but still content because sometimes surety and stability don't promise wholehearted happiness. I’ve realised home is where I finally touchdown.
Home is where my heart will beat like it was always meant to.