Belonging. Everyone wants to belong to someone or to something, it is the third basic human need after water and food. This is why we always need a place to call “home”. One of my biggest fears has always been to be lonely and homeless. I am from two very different cultures and growing up in two homes that have always made me feel kind of homeless. The more I travel, the more I realize that I am constantly looking for something comfortable, familiar, close and to a homey feeling. I always want the feeling I get when I enter my house after a long day and feel safe. Of course safety is not always about a certain place, so much of the time it is one person that makes you feel safe. Like your mother when you are a baby, or your professor when someone is bullying you or your best friend when you cannot ever stop crying… Home is the person that makes you forget the world because your home is a safe house, a place where no force can enter, nobody else can hurt you.
Or maybe home is just the comfortable place where you have some of your belongings and just want to go and sleep after a long day of visiting an entire city. Maybe home is something smaller such as the smell of his car when he comes to pick you up from the airport; the language you hear someone speak in the shopping mall that you never expected to…
I hear people say, home is where your mom is, home is where you learnt to ride your first bike or where you had your first kiss. And others say that home is where your heart is, maybe they mean it as the place that you miss the most. I now see home as the place I want to see before I die, as the feeling I want to get before (when I do) part this world. There is a saying in Turkish, “No Atheist will be left in a dying plane” because no matter how hard we try to be strong and independent in this world there comes a moment when we will crumble and as we part into the unknown, we will want to feel that comfort and familiarity in or heart.
The problem is that we tend to choose the closest possible comfort zone we have, close in the term of distance in order to move on with our lives. Every single day that we wake up alone in our bed, we are only looking for the closest thing that brings us a tiny bit closer to feeling “home”.
I saw the definition of the word "hireath" a while ago, it is a noun, probably invented by millennials which means a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for lost places in your past. For the longest time I clanged on to this idea, even when I didn’t know the word. The idea that no matter how far across the Atlantic I go, I cannot ever stop myself from still feeling homeless. I thought not belonging was this sort of freedom, I have always wanted to be free. At this point, I have probably secretly looked for a home for so long that I lost track of what I was looking for in the first place. I am not sure if I wanted to leave a mark on the world or if all I ever wanted was to find a home that would leave a mark on me. I haven’t lived with my parents, family or acquired friends for a while but I never realized that in the process of holding onto my past and the places and things I missed; I never allowed myself to continue living, simply living.
It had always been difficult for me to call a place home, just because I never really thought I understood what it meant. Now I understand that the concept of home live the concept of love is undefinable, they are both feelings that you just have. For so long I have confused the idea of a home with some sort of house, but once you think of home as physical, you lose the whole point of the actual feeling that safety is. Now I understand that home is not given to you, the same way your first house is. Home is not something that can be chosen either, once you’ve found it you know it and once you know it everything else just looks darker and less bright.