A word both tangible and illusory.
One of the most problematic words in language.
Most people feel incomplete without it.
Others, tragically, have learned that home is a false concept of security and warmth.
But many still look for it.
Even life’s wanderers.
And I never wanted to stay in one place.
Three years, max, and I feel the desire to move on. Especially now, feeling a geographical dislocation in this high desert.
I still want to burn bridges.
To leave a wake of delightful chaos and destruction in my wake, however inconsequential.
Enough, I say. I’ve had enough of this place.
It’s okay to be a stranger. To be out of place and step no matter where you go.
But then I got tired.
I didn’t expect that.
To wake up a stranger in this aging body that I have trouble believing is still mine.
“Own it.” (No, thank you.)
What do you do when noplace wants you?
I found a cover letter for a job with a local company back in 2007 in my files. I applied when I lived here before. I’m back in this locale, and have applied to the same company quite a few times recently. It felt so silly, wasting all that recent effort that (in a random. passing realization) still hasn’t wanted to hire me.
I felt like Don Quixote. My whole life a series of tilting-at-windmills.
What do I do with a whole bunch of middle-aged angst? Excusable in the young, sometimes, but all these mixed emotions as an adult? It’s not allowed. I’m supposed to have it all figured out.
But what if you just realised you never even had the chance to figure it out when you were a kid? To not be who you were, inherently? To be taught that everything about you was somehow implicitly wrong, but then get slapped with the wake-up call that maybe, just maybe, that might actually not be true?
An entire sense of self just stolen, and you didn’t even realize the extent of the theft?
How do you go back and recover it? And why would you, at your age?
But you’ve exhausted all the possibilities. Or it feels like it. Physically, you can’t do the working-three-jobs solution you did when you were young. Jobs that sucked but gave you the illusion of independence. Of home.
But I was homeless within four walls. I didn’t own anything. I had nothing.
So I opened the door to a different room. An internal door. A door that led into creativity. Maybe not into the room of being an artist the way I always wanted as a child. Or the violinist. Or a million other lost dreams.
I was so scared.
But I opened it anyway.
I took the gamble.
And now I can’t close it.
But, why would I? So many years just trying to fit in. To conform. To keep my head down. To not rock the boat. To dress for the workplace. To work, at the cost of everything. A starving artist without even the comfort of art.
And guess what?
The gamble’s working.
I’ve had more acceptance the past few years as a hopeful writer then I have had in an entire lifetime of just trying to “get a job”.
So much support, even in rejection letters. Journals, editors, magazines–all mostly offering valuable feedback even when my stories or articles aren’t accepted.
And they are so nice.
And, even more astounding, my articles and stories are actually being accepted. At a mind-blowing, pinch-me-I’m-dreaming level. Even other writers are wonderfully supportive. I want to give acknowledgements to all but I’m forgetful in my old age sometimes, so I don’t want to leave anyone out. But you know who you are. If you follow me on Twitter, or look at the blogs I follow, and share via social media, you’ll find them. Or ask, and I’ll be glad to share links to read/purchase my works. And I try to be as supportive as possible in return, but I struggle with time management. As in there’s not enough time in the day. I feel like ambitious, hardworking Hermione, who still needed a time-turner to accomplish everything she intended to do at Hogwarts.
Have I arrived?
But, for the first time, I feel the inklings of what it would be like to have a sense of place. A connection. To not be the outsider eternally looking in. And I want to say, don’t let people take away your dreams. To put you down. To steal your sense of self. Even if you’re not making any money. Better to be broke and happy, then miserable and eking out an existence at a dead-end job. (Having said that, I still have a day job. *laugh*)
And, maybe someday, I’ll have roots in an actual community, too. In Glasgow. Or in Europe, somewhere. A little sea cottage by a tumultuous ocean, even. Surrounded by wilding trees, and roses by a blue front door.
( Feel free to share links to your actualised dreams, or write about them, in the comments below!–Willow)