Childhood may be a defining factor in many people's lives. I used to think that my childhood, filled with drugs and abuse, defined me as a person. I believed that the country bi-level house I grew up in was my home and that there was nothing I could do to change it. And, despite having once felt at home with my only brother, his dissapperance has diminished that feeling for me.
Over the years, I've encountered different people who've opened my eyes to a new life. Like a painter who takes a step backward to view his own creation, I've taken a step forward in creating a new life for myself. Going away to college was the best and scariest thing I've done in my life. It was like being thrown into an ocean without a life perserver, or the strength to swim. Down at school, I was able to do as I pleased without judgement or fear. I didn't have a screaming father to be afraid of. I didn't have a fragile mother to worry about. I was just me, nobody knew my situation. I was free to become whoever I wanted.
Of course, like every one else, I struggled to find who I really was--my identity. Though it is still unclear to me, at this moment, I feel like I've come closer to self-discovery. I could've never realized the most precious gifts about living if it weren't for the amazing people that have walked into my life. I find it ironic how God can give you hints to the answers you've been trying to find, through the different people He puts into your life at precise moments. Everyday experiences and every day people make me believe in a greater plan. The clouds in the sky make me have hope for a brighter tomorrow and the passing of ordinary souls makes me have faith in another life.
There's nothing more inspiring, to me, than listening to another's story. I find tiny messeges in other's stories that I could never find in my own. Listening, developing a common bond, is what makes that familiar feeling of "home" come back to warm my heart. I've found that in the few dear friends that I've come to know so well and I am grateful for such a thing to have happened to me.
So what makes me feel at home? I feel at home when I think of those who love me, just for who I am. I feel at home, at peace, when I know that I can confide in someone who'll talk to me straight, with concerned love. I feel at ease when I can voice my opinions and ideas, not having to worry how crazy they might sound. The painful hurt of life's great losses and knowing other's have known a pain similar to mine, makes me feel at home. And, most of all, I feel at home when I know that I've touched someone's life, however small it might have been. I feel the warmth of home through a gentle yet firm hug and I feel as though the fog is lifting a bit, for now at least.