I was barely an adult the first time I realized it.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
Once you leave the place you grew up and make a home somewhere else – you’re probably going to miss somewhere forever. That used to make me sad.
It was several years later, when I’d lived in about a dozen different places I called ‘home’, that I realized I loved it. That ‘home’ can be wherever I want, and for as long as I want. There was no more missing.
When I lived in the Caribbean, ‘home’ was the tiny cabin I shared on the massive cruise ship where I worked. In Scotland, it was the minuscule bunk in the bow of the steam boat – in Rome, it was the wild apartment with more plants and murals than furniture that I shared with my besties. You know, the place didn’t matter. The story I told about it did.
These were heady days of freedom while I travelled the world and it felt like there was no limit to what was possible and no fear – a few bills in my pocket and always a job to be found to get enough for the next meal or train fare.
The story I told got weighed down some years later.
The story of commitment to a person, a place, a job, a whole new life
And though it was exactly what I’d always wanted, always dreamed of, the story felt like a heavy burden.
The burden of responsibility, planning and worry for the future.
And with that came that familiar old missing….again.
Missing my first home, missing my freedom, missing all the people who had left my life for various reasons, missing a sense of security.
And it was all a story.
Seriously, just a story.
Over the last few years, I’ve realized this so intensely. There’s never any reason to be weighed down, never a reason to suffer. It’s only what we’re believing and the story we’re telling that creates this.
I’m still committed – to my life, my family, my home with all the responsibility that comes with this – and yet I feel free again.
It’s not because it’s easy and I get to pretend I’m 22 again. It’s not because I have no concerns or challenges.
It’s because I choose which stories I want to tell.
And I tell a story of freedom and love.
And so I live it.
Here are a few steps to take so you can do this too:
- What are the best things about the life and place you live – make a list
- What do you miss?
- How can you live what you miss in your life right now? (for example – dig out an old recipe, maybe your mom’s or grans – and make it – it won’t taste as good as you remember but it’ll be close!)
- If you miss a language, music or a culture – how can you experience what you miss where you are now (for example – I often listen to music from ‘home’ and end up dancing around my kitchen)
- Go visit – no I don’t mean on a plane – go online and take a trip around the place you loved – with google maps and interactive tours, you really feel like you’re there!
- Enjoy the nostalgia and even sadness – these emotions make us feel alive too.
- Talk to your friends, kids, siblings about ‘home’ – when they see your excitement, they’ll feel it too.
Where’s home for you? What feels like freedom?
What do you miss?
Share it below.