The Art of Going Home
This familiar blue screen informs me that I have one hour and 6 minutes to my destination, Manila, my home. It’s quite funny how this trip came about – I had just abruptly booked my flight home as I was tearing up as Michael Buble sang Home in my green speakers while I was doing the second batch of my laundry.
It’s quite amazing that my laundry was reduced to just 2 batches, I thought. I had just come from the two longest weeks of my life. Literally the longest, I think, given the fact that we only slept for 2 hours on most days (spread across in 10-minute durations). That happened? What? Quite amazing, really.
I was never the type who got homesick. I think I was born into the world with laser focus, or less glamorously, I am like a horse with the 2 squares on the side of its face, preventing its eyes to gaze on anything besides the path directly in front of it. This time it felt different though. It has been 7 months of working hard and holding my breath. In the same amount of time, I have traveled to new and amazing places and met such interesting people. It has been exciting, thrilling and tiring.
“On to the next one”, the next day, the next task, the next idea, the next person, the next place, the next experience – this has been my life and I enjoyed it, loved it, even.
That afternoon though, walking around my empty apartment – everything was moving so slowly. The one-hour hand-wash setting of my washing machine seemed like it was taking a day, my Facebook feed seemed like it was just repeating to no end, and, it felt like my phone messages were coming in weeks apart.
Everything seemed out of place. And, then Michael begins to sing. I began to feel out of place.
Since I left home, I realised I had so many questions, burst of thoughts, personal projects, emotions, that I kept for later. And now, later has come.
Where to even begin? Home, the song suggested. And so I booked my ticket.
I am now 30 minutes from touching down and I am trying to compress my stories in digestible nutshells – along with all my questions, thoughts, emotions. Does it all matter though? Will anyone be able to understand?
I realise that coming home doesn’t feel strange, like how I sometimes imagined it. That gap representing the months I have been away seems small now, so small that it doesn’t even matter. I guess this is what having a home means.
Seems like home is a place where all I have to be is present. Home is where I don’t have to be anything except breathing, living, me in the space that has seen me since I first learned how to walk until the day I packed up my things and left. Home is a place where my thoughts are safe, where my emotions exist even if not felt by anyone else, where my questions can sit comfortably unanswered.
Home is where I can finally let go of that breath I have been holding on to, the same place where I can take a fresh new one, let it go and take a new one – repeatedly, until I am breathing again – bracing myself for the next wave to come.
I only have a few days here before I have to leave again but right now, it’s enough.
//Dramatics aside, I can finally write about these travels I keep mentioning in this post and the last. Hooray. 🙂