Do you feel at home?

This post is the #week1 #oprahblogchallenge from Jammie’s blog.

I have tried to let this title inspire me many times to write a post that I wouldn’t have to completely sensor and that would make sense. No wonder that when the answer to this question is no, there is not much more to say.

I want to shout that I don’t feel at home, that I don’t belong here, and that I hide myself, letting out the real me in small doses, like a wounded animal checking to see if it’s safe. I struggle – I struggle so badly when I don’t fit in and that is all I feel sometimes, that I don’t fit in. There are few moments of peace, of connection, when I forget about being an outsider, but no over-riding feeling of security.

The truth is I don’t know how to make a home. I feel at home when I am with my parents and when I am in Geneva. I let others define home for me and make me feel at home. Even my real home, I left it and went far away. I left for adventure, to be free to be myself, and to be more at home, but really I don’t know how to do that with myself. I know how to leave places that don’t feel like home. I know how to do it over and over again thinking that I will be better off where I am going but I am not. I know how to turn around and not look back and then cry when it’s all gone. I leave pieces of myself all over the place. I wind up lonely and disconnected wherever I go. When I return, I am again lonely and disconnected because what I left behind has moved on.

This is hard but I guess I need to make a home here. I am doubtful, I really don’t know if this is the right place. It doesn’t look right, it doesn’t smell right, and it doesn’t talk right, but I am learning to embrace imperfection.  I don’t have anyone like me to show how it’s done here. I don’t have a community, a group.

I have a few friends who I try to stitch together into a patchwork network, hoping they will catch me and not let me fall through the cracks. I also have HD and a cat and some plants. I have a mostly well-functioning body despite its serious limitations. There’s a lot I can do before I run out of steam. I have a kind face, a nice personality, and most people like talking to me. I have lived and loved expansively all over the world and I can try to live and love expansively and fully right here. I can build from the ground up.

All I know

This is all I know. All I can handle to know right now. All that hurts and doesn’t hurt, all that’s raw and ripe to say. I am lost. Often. Last year I couldn’t believe I was back in school. I was lost with this new identity even though I threw myself in it completely. It occupied my thoughts and days and  I wondered what it was that used to occupy my thoughts and days. I couldn’t find that girl anymore.

Now I am lost that my plans didn’t go accordingly. I was so close. After getting the grades, I thought I was a shoo-in. My heart comes into my mouth, I have no idea. No clue how what I wanted slipped so perfectly from between my fingers. Over the course of 3 weeks of interviewing it was gone. Doors closed.

All I knew was desire and wanting. Wanting what I almost had and what I never had. Entwined with wanting a baby, a cat, a job, all the things that could maybe lead to belonging. Still feeling lost and not belonging. Anywhere. Not here and not in my skin.

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Day 3: The Healing

Considering how badly day 2 went, and considering how I was surprised at how quickly I unraveled alone with my own thoughts, day 3 went remarkably well. I was doing far better in terms of energy and walking ability than I had in a while. I proceeded to avoid the pressing issue of a job hunt and made myself happy by getting myself some blue flowers and baking some coconut muffins.

I got quite carried away with the thought of them. I made a dozen all for myself with no thought of what to do with them later as HD doesn’t eat coconut. I modified the recipe with swiss chocolate and less sugar. I also paid no heed to the gigantic mess I made. Later on, it took me about 3 shifts of cleaning to clear it all up.

Finally, I ended the day with a series of TED talks on the subject of ‘Sex, Secrets and Love’. To be honest, this collection did not have an awful lot of sex or secrets, but all the talks were really good in their own right. The one that hit home was this one connection and vulnerability. Maybe I was on some sort of high that night but it made a lot of sense then and I was lost in the profoundness of it. I felt like that speech looked right at me and asked me why I wasn’t letting myself feel belonging. To be easier on myself, third culture kids do have a harder time with belonging. I remember when this poem by iamwatercolor described me the best. Also this one by her as well:

limbo

how stubborn are we
castaways of culture
climbing over the walls
only to peep through the cracks

And here is the TED talk:

brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html