Monday, August 12, 2013

Making Home

Lately, as you will have discovered if you’ve read my last post, I’ve been feeling homesick. Not in the slight, “wanna-go-home-from-camp” kind of way but in the urgent, painful, unable to face any other idea, sense of loss kind of way. In the past that has made me focus on where I live and making my (our) apartment a home, which I have tried and feel quite sure I have succeeded. Today though, I want to discuss what is a home? Recently, actually yesterday I think, I was browsing pinterest as you do and came across a rather interesting quote.notwhereyoulive

“It’s not where you live but where you love”

I know its probably a no-brainer, everyone realises that a home isn’t where you live, where you were brought up but where you love and where who you love lives. Where you feel yourself, where you are accepted and loved just as you are. Parents, in general and on the whole, tend to love their children unconditionally or rather they love you whether you hurt them or not. But my point is getting away from me, as usual.

If a home is where you love to be, because of the people there that love you too then really location, or “stability” of location doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t matter if that’s a caravan, a tent, a cardboard box, a house or a building at all, so long as when you get there or what I mean is, while you are there you are loved, accepted and cherished, right?

Of course everyone wants to live and love somewhere comfortable, somewhere pleasant, somewhere warm and inviting. Which is why hotels spend millions on decor, why people all over the world look at interior design magazines, blogs and the like. That’s doesn’t mean though that a beautiful house is the same as a beautiful home. Lots of people have lovely houses but not all of them are lovely homes. This I found out when I moved to Norway and met a lovely lady who had a beautiful house that was well, and tastefully decorated, that was never untidy, never had clutter or bric-a-brac. Yet somehow, and although this lovely lady had a wonderful husband and two beautiful children, every time I visited it felt cold, like an exhibition space. Devoid of comfort or warmth, not that it wasn’t either comfortable or physically warm. After all it had soft furnishing and a good central heating system, yet something was missing and I wondered what it was like to live in a place like that.

I am a creative person, and it shows in my home. Not only because (IMHO) its well and tastefully decorated and furnished, but also because I have a tendency to leave projects out that are half-finished and as I read on another blog not so long ago about a writer who said the same of themselves, as a writer I have a tendency to procrastinate. Which is why in my fridge magnet collection is one that says:

“A clean house is a sign of a wasted life”

because I believe its true. That my house is never spotless or pristine doesn’t mean that it doesn’t feel homely, or “cosy” as my dear friend put it. Whereas my home always feel lived in, it always feels inviting, it’s always welcoming. I don’t really know if its the people (i.e, me and my husband) that make it feel welcoming or our slightly chaotic home. Perhaps its a mixture of the two, perhaps our cluttered little home is merely an impression of the two slightly scatter-brained people that live in it.

Maybe in a sense that’s the root of my homesickness, I miss my parents. I miss that part of my family that doesn’t live in the same country as I do and that’s the home that I miss. Of course the sensation of speaking your own language, in your own culture lies heavily on top of that, but it comes down to feeling comfortable, accepted and loved, sometimes its not so easy to feel those things in a country that isn’t your birth country, even with a loving family around you. Sometimes home is just your parents, or your brothers and sisters and no matter how close you are to your parents-in-law or brothers and sisters in law, its just not quite the same.

My home is split three ways, my parents live in the UK. My brother lives in Spain, and me and my husband, along with all this family live here in Norway. So I suppose you could say that no matter where I live I will always feel homesick. What a disquieting thought!

Home is where my heart is, and my heart is split into three. Until next time.