Don’t kick me to the curb yet! Thoughts on the meaning of “home”


So, I just averted a near-disaster, and it got me to thinking about the importance of “home”….

Here’s what happened — I am on my way home, like to my parents’ house, for a couple of weeks here, and it will be by far the longest stretch of time I’ve been home for several years. I am so excited! Or I was, until my mom broke the news that they have two Mexican boarders staying there, who are, in fact, arriving today. Now, before you peg me as a racist asshole, let me clarify that I have nothing against Mexicans. What I do, however, have a large problem with is people sleeping in my bed, yes MY bed, even though I am now “closer to thirty than twenty” as my ever-so-kind coworker Isabel pointed out yesterday, “my” room at home will always be mine! Or should be! Luckily I am a very spoiled brat, and generally get what I want, and I emailed my mom. The email went something like this:

Mom, if you put the Mexicans in my room I am going to be seriously traumatized and will require incredibly expensive therapy, to get over the fact that my parents clearly don’t love me anymore.

It worked! And here is how much of a spoiled baby I am — immediately after telling me that she would put them in my brother’s room, and how I’d “better ‘preciate it!” she went on to say she was going to buy me raspberries (my favourite!) and couldn’t wait to see me. God I’m such a brat. I have it in for me when I eventually have my own kids! They are going to be hellions. Anyways, this whole episode just got me to thinking about how grateful I am to have a home. How lucky I am to have grown up in a place, a space, that I could feel safe and warm and cozy in. I mean, since I moved out at 19, I have been back many times, and have called many places home, but going back there is always so awesome. So considering that I’ve always had this great and awesome place to come back to, it seems strange that I have such a paranoia about not having a space that is M-ified. Like at college, when I have to switch rooms, pack up all my stuff and move it and re-organize it, I throw a tantrum! I am an emotional wreck! It makes me cry when I realize that the shelf configuration is different, and stuff is going to have to go elsewhere. It’s ridiculous! My Awesome Boyfriend, who has helped me relocate several times now, just kind of shakes his head at me. Paradoxically, I love travelling, have travelled all over the world, been to Europe five times, etc, but it really sucks the life out of me to be in this limbo state, where, as a matter of fact, I find myself today. Since I will be disembarking tomorrow, I have to pack up my cabin here on the ship in preparation. I am already sweating and feeling clammy, especially with the thought that maybe all my stuff won’t fit in my bag. THEN WHAT WILL I DO!!! And of course, even as I am writing this, I am shaking my head at myself, because I realize that my paranoia is utterly ridiculous. But that doesn’t make it go away.To make matters worse, my sense of “home” is split right now between three different places – the ship is my “home” for now, it’s where all my immediate belongings are, it’s the space I have become very comfortable in; but the rest of my stuff, and my car, is out East at the college; and of course my parents’ place will always be “home” to me. What a mess! And of course, this is pretty characteristic of this age that I find myself in, I’m sure there are many people in my demographic experiencing this very experience. In a few short years, I will have a career and a house. (God I can’t wait!) Until then, please mom, don’t give me the boot! I still need that anchor of a place where I belong, where I can come back to, where I am always welcome, where I can raid the fridge and wear my pyjamas all day.

I am curious whether anyone else experiences this kind of anxiety! Or am I alone, a freak of nature. I am also curious whether it makes it better or worse to have grown up in a stable home. Your thoughts much appreciated!




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