There’s a sweet little irony in only realising where you were going wrong in something, once you come to the end. A kind of long-awaited clarity where, with a deep 'Ohhh', the reason for all that was senseless suddenly makes complete sense. A certain kind of epiphany, I like to think, you only achieve when it's time.
I've spent months waiting for that bittersweet moment, often doubting it's existence. But recently I've started to feel different. I can sense this cosmic shift, and I think I've finally realised what's been missing all along.
It was not what I previously thought; a lack of good people, purpose, or somewhere to direct my passion that left me empty. Perhaps they were a part of it, but there was something bigger that encompassed it all. At the root of it all, it came down to something so simple and so obvious, I realised it a million times without ever really noticing what it meant.
As humans, we seek home in any manner of scales - in alternate planets and solar systems in our universe, in countries inside continents, cities inside countries, in people and streets and lovers within the cities that we live. Home is something we’ll never cease continuing to need and seek. And while social media has come to encourage us to celebrate and revere those who cast off the shackles of conventional living and surrender themselves to the nomadic life of the dreamer, we’re all seeking something. Even in the smallest of ways, we’re always trying to find a home in what we do, the people we meet, and the person we think we might be.
And in this I have realised something far greater about the past year of my life, a year of feeling more lost than perhaps ever before. Each new flaw that I have discovered upon running my fingers across the indented surface of myself could be traced to the one fact that for a year now, I have had no home. Both metaphorically and physically. (Although, without my own place to live, I am very grateful that I’ve had a roof above my head and a bed to sleep in.)
For a year, home has extended no further than a day’s clothes crammed into bags and bustled onto trains. Home has pushing the limits on sofa-surfing or returning to the single bed in the museum of my formative years, gazing into the mirror of my teenage self and trying to tell her that, somehow, it's fine, right? Home has been all of the pieces of myself packed in boxes and stacked in the gloom, gathering dust in the darkness like my steadily decaying hopes that I can get out of this rut. Home has been straddling a line between unconsciousness and alert, not quite awake, but never fully asleep.
And with an almighty crash I can suddenly see the truth of it all. How, in the months I’ve spent half-heartedly just looking for a new place, I never fully understood that incredibly powerful connection between this subtle undoing of myself, and the lack of a space of my own with which to express myself, care for myself, and get to know myself again.
Until now, when out of the blue it has suddenly become clear as day to me. Dare I believe it’s because the end is night, the next chapter of my life lurking just a few emails and phone calls away? I don’t know if that’s true, but I can feel a change happening anyway. The long since hardened parts of me are beginning to rumble and shatter, something forgotten still molten and fluid deep beneath the surface. I’m waking up. And I feel perched upon the horizon of something transformative.
Like an aching, ageing star’s slow succumb to implosion, this year has withered and strained me to the very thinnest stretches of who I think I am and what I believe I can do. But I’ve reached critical mass, and while the end of this era has felt like something slowly approaching for some time now, I can’t help but feel I’m now dancing in those final few seconds before supernova.
Because when the stars finally align and I find my home once more, I can be born again. Both metaphorically and literally, I can start over, carefully choosing the pieces of my past I wish to bring with me into the next chapter of my life, a chapter which has been so agonisingly on delayed since I landed back from New York City, and so deeply changed from my experience there. I have been aching to rise again from the moment I fell, which has been a light through the depression which has consumed my 23rd year that I’ve clung onto, if only at times like a little finger wrapped around thread.
I’m ready to put myself back together.
And as I gaze in awe at my metamorphosing core, sensing my homecoming in a future so tantalisingly near, I wonder if perhaps that’s what fate had been waiting for me to say all along.