I am extremely pleased to introduce to my readers a special friend of mine. Our entire relationship is serendipity and a weird combination of circumstance and, well, epicness. Her name is Theo. Here’s a link to her awesome blog. Actually, I’m not 1o0% sure how we got to know each other. We have a mutual friend and from my memory, I believe Theo started to follow my blog and our mutual friend was like “Oh hey, my girlfriend follows your blog.” And I was impressed. One, because someone was actually following me, and two because her writing is amazing.
And get this; she’s my brother’s age. *mindblown* Before I continue to ramble on about her writing, I’ll just put this down here gently and let you make your own judgement on her writing~
We were talking for a while about our topic and decided on the topic of home. I wrote my share of this topic here, and now I’m extremely proud and honored to share her writing on my blog. Enjoy!
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Title: Honey, I’m Home
Like the word “love”, the word “home” is a four-letter referral to something supposedly precious in a human’s life. And yet, just like “love”, we seem to use the word in regards to—everything. Our GPS drones, “Calculating the route to HOME now.” We say, “I have to go home now,” even if that “home” is full of discord, anxiety, or anger. So what is home?
A true “home” isn’t a nice house with many rooms and wide banister stairs and large windows. And it’s not just any old place where people-who-happen-to-be-related-to-you reside. After all, if it were, why do teen poets so often like to wax romantic about their home being another person’s heart? Why don’t they talk about…their house? Cliche, but there’s definitely a kernel of truth there—sometimes (often) home isn’t a physical location.
After moving to Indonesia, I’ve been struggling to figure out where MY home is. I’m not here with my parents—I’m staying with my relatives. And sure, while my aunts and uncles are family, they’re not my home. To me, a home is ultimately a place where I belong. As much as I love my family (aunts and uncles), I don’t always feel like I belong. After all, they have their own children, they have their own things to take care of. I’m…like…this extra cast member. I don’t particularly feel like a priority.
Even with my parents, I didn’t feel like much of a priority. In my house I was always the troublemaker, the bad kid, the one who deserved everything that happened to her. I had a lot of fights with my parents, didn’t talk to my brothers much, and didn’t even really get out of my room. So, that didn’t feel like my home either.
For a while I thought that maybe I could find a place to belong with boys. I put all and more of my effort into relationships. Even if I saw that they were about to fail, I wouldn’t let go. I thought that maybe if I worked hard enough, things would work out or fall into place.
There’s something really weird about trying to find your home in someone else, because usually you’re not going to find it. Each person has different wants and needs, and there’s no way a human is going to be the place you can feel safe all the time. Humans are as prone to anger, breakage, and sadness as anything.
After boys, I tried church. But I was quickly overwhelmed by the hypocrisy of so many fellow churchgoers. Instead of religion being a safe place for me to go, my church became a place I dreaded. I was always worried that someone would talk behind my back, make fun of me, or insult my singing abilities. That didn’t seem like an option either.
So. Now I’m in Indonesia, occasionally feeling lost, occasionally feeling…not lost. I suspect that my constant search for a place to belong is a result of my insecurity and dislike for myself. I want to be told that I’m worthy of love and kindness, but I don’t have the capacity to tell it to myself, so I try and find other people to tell it to me. That’s what I want to work on in these coming months and years while I’m here.
In Indonesia, I’m getting so many opportunities. I’ve spoken as a guest on the radio. I’ve visited an elementary school and taught English. In June I’m helping my mentor give a seminar at this year’s Jogja Model United Nations, and tomorrow I’m giving a short speech on rhetoric and how to use pathos, ethos, and logos. All of these doors have been opened by family’s support, to help me become the great woman I’ve always dreamed of becoming. “Focus on yourself, Abby. Focus on what you can do.”
Maybe that’s the answer to all of this. Maybe instead of always looking for somewhere else to belong, I have to find my home in myself. After all, I’ll be living this life in this body until I die. And it wouldn’t be very nice to keep coming home to a place that I’m intentionally making unhealthy. Whoever heard of filling one’s one house with poison and discouragement and traps? And yet, isn’t that what many of us do each day? Hurting ourselves, belittling ourselves, acting as our own worst enemy. I do that every single day.
Getting to a point where I can say all of this about myself has been a long journey. And it’s far from over. I still struggle every day to be okay with myself. But it’s alright, because there have been so many gorgeous moments in my life. I’ve had fun with my parents, my brothers, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, my boyfriends, my churchmates—and most importantly, there have been really great days with myself. Me. My body, my life.
I think that’s the answer I’ve come to through all of this musing and exposition: I’m home.
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Don’t forget to check out more of her writing on her blog! And again, Theo thank you for guest posting. Hopefully this won’t be a one time thing? 🙂