I apologise somewhat for my honesty. in this post, there are unrelated photos of some favourite people.
I feel lonely. This seems riduculous to say; I’m in a beautiful place that I’m lucky to be in, because of privileges lots of people don’t have- how DARE I feel a negative emotion?! (I don’t know if anyone is thinking this, but I am.) It’s been a few days since I really spent a lot of time with one person and really gelled with them. Sure, the very short lived but truly meaningful encounters that we have while we travel are amazing, and a source of great fascination to me. But in people I find a home, and I need to establish that place, have the protection of that place from the outside world, from my own being.
I am an introvert, I need time alone to be able to be with other people, otherwise I am truly terrible company, for myself and for others. I need to listen to my favourite music in a silent environment, need to read in the quiet and potter about folding blankets and mulling over my thoughts. However, I also place homes in other people, and sometimes, the very real and somewhat complete home that I have managed to keep inside of myself gets lonely. My thoughts feel too big and I need someone to laugh with, to chat to, to ease off from my own startling nature of being.
On one long train journey alone, I was crushed with regret and the mourning of a relationship, and the past self that had existed inside of that relationship. In my notebook, I wrote “do I want you, do I miss you, because I am alone & far far from home & you were always my most comfortable jumper?”. The home that I placed inside of this person is a home that doesn’t exist inside of them any more, and one that I would no longer fit in. the angles are wrong and I’ve gained new emotion, new confidence, new wariness and more resilience. But still, it is a home that I would like to curl up inside of. I just needed a home. A new comfortable jumper.
And we say goodbye, to people and the way that they house versions of ourselves, over time. I must say good bye to a version of myself that was so excited by a spring day that I burst into tears of joy and bought an entire album off itunes. (This is something I would never do now, for though I am liable to burst into tears of joy, I am ever more unlikely to buy an album from itunes. I find spending money far too stressful, now! (Ah, the rude awakening of a sort of adulthood)) I must say goodbye to the version of myself that was embittered with manipulative friendship, but remember how quickly I placed home in someone that seemed to walk in the same way as me, to the same beat. From a home that hurt to a home that felt miraculously comfortable. And, thankfully, the home that I made inside of them and the home that they made inside of me have grown together, our changes have been able to be accommodated.
And though we say goodbye, we say hello too. Meeting new people is something is not necessarily a skill of mine, but I find joy in watching new smiles formed on faces that have existed before I knew of them. I like falling into an easy conversation within minutes of a nerve-wracking conversation opener. Just like you can’t open a book without learning something new, I also believe you can’t meet a new person without gaining some sort of knowledge. In “How to save the world for a fiver” there is a double spread with two people wearing t shirts. One reads “talk to old people. They know cool stuff you don’t” and the other, “talk to young people. They know cool stuff you don’t”. This is a fantastic life philosophy, but one that I would extend. We are all incredibly different- a subtle cocktail of our upbringings and beliefs and experiences and sentiments and complex emotional character. I want to talk to everyone. Form relationships, for people know stuff I don’t.
And within these new pathways that have not yet been carved, we create new homes. Burrow into sections of each other and work out our boundaries, our dynamic, how we fit together. Whether we can have the same type of friendship that we love with another person. See how our relationship-home will be furnished.
And isn’t it exciting, looking back on a chance encounter and seeing the way things have gone? From someone who is now one of my closest friends knocking on my door with a pint full of Rosé, the first night of university, walking into where I was sitting; a kitchen that was warm and comfortable with two boys, one of which would later be my boyfriend. I found a new home in those people, but that kitchen quickly became a source of hell in the new year, with an infestation of mice and a constant cold and always smelling strange! Emily’s kitchen quickly became the one that I used more, so thank god for that first night!
I think different people and where we place ourselves in them are different homes. I think that’s why people have houses all over the place, to become different people within them. I’m lucky that instead, I have that in people. I have a home of security in my mum and dad, a home of drive and calm and generosity and love. And also of chaos and vision with mum, humour and reassurance in times of crisis from dad. I have my creative home, sitting at the kitchen table reading interiors books with Teresa, wrapping a scarf around my head and lying in the sun, chatting life in front of a fire, dreaming. I have a home of solidarity in Tabby. Good, pure safe love with Joseph. I have a home in which I can discuss philosophy, with someone infinitely more intelligent and more articulated than me. I have homes built out of laughter and hope with so many friends, homes of wisdom and composure. Of the reassurance of the constant with old friends, home of memories created and to come. Homes tainted by nostalgia, where I impossibly don’t fit any longer. Homes that I’m so privileged to have, that seemed impossible to forge. Homes that I miss. Homes that I’ll come back to and realise why they truly are that. Homes that I know I need. Homes that I’ll have more of.
And I have a home inside of myself, that I love to sit in and think in. This home is the starting place for all others. A starting place to homes inside of people and art and places. A home that though within it I am alone, I can feel so far from lonely. And that works.