“Home” for me has never been the traditional sense of the word.
I have lived in 15+ houses, in three cities on two continents. I can’t exactly say that the back of my bedroom door has my height measured on it, or the cement pavement outside has an imprint of my hand, or that my childhood pet is buried in the yard. But one thing’s for sure, i’ve always had a knack at adapting, at making myself feel ‘at home‘ wherever I may be. Whether that means spreading my clothes out on your floor, or laying on your couch with my shoes only just hanging off the edge like Mum’s about to tell me to ‘GET YOUR BLOODY SHOES OFF THE FURNITURE’. Anyway, I’m pretty freakin good at making myself feel welcome whether that’s a good or a bad thing – who knows. I’ve realised there’s only three things I need to feel at home in a city; my own bedroom, one very close friend, and a job. These things may not be the same for everyone – and I’m not entirely sure why it is that trio in particular for me – but it just is.
My bedroom. A space that is mine; an area where I have personally selected every item that goes in it, and made my own mess, on my own terms. I think this one has something to do with moving out of home at such a young age. My room became my home – seeing as every other space is communal (and TRUST ME in some of my first share-homes you wouldn’t want to be caught dead in any of the communal areas – yes I’m talking to you guys with the duck in the bathtub). My room is like my little sanctuary. And if I let you in it – you must be pretty cool!
A close friend. Now look, I’m well aware people have said I switch friends a bit. But I will certainly contest that. I think my ability to connect with people and create close, deep friendships is actually a gift. So what if we drift? if i move houses, areas, jobs? I do not believe that friendship needs to be obsessive, or that if you don’t talk every day, week or even month that a friendship will fade. If I take my precious time to get to genuinely know you, to share my secrets, dreams and fears with you – you have a really special place in my heart. So what I’m saying is that to feel truly at home I like to have at least one (but one is all I actually need) close close friend, that I can 100% rely on.
A job. Anyone who knows me knows that ever since my first job at Cold Rock Ice-Creamery at Perth’s Hillary’s Boat Harbour, my job has always played a major role in my friendship, schedule and sanity. A raft of my best friends have come from my job. I love to make work a place that I can feel happy, loved and successful. I’ve lived with two of my work friends and travelled the world with another two. We’ve had sleepovers, drunken nights out, and too many laughing fits to count. I find that having a job just pushes you into making friends. I’ve never really judged a person on their social standing, how many ‘cool’ people they know or what they’re into. So I find it pretty easy to bond with down to earth, ambitious and fun individuals.
So to quote a blog-post I read by alexandrakirsch
“I’m not sure that “home” is defined by a physical place on a map, so much as it is a place where you feel something between content and safe.”
Where I am right now, sitting under my doona (that the cover has come off while I was sleeping) and my pink fluffy K-mart blanket, drinking a coffee with two teddy bear biscuits and an advent calendar chocolate, in my double bed, in my house in Sydney… This feels like home.