Sunday 23 February 2020

Somewhere I Belong

I came up with this blog post idea a year ago (~Feb 2019), but didn't get around to actually writing it until now. Maybe because I'm still figuring out where it is that I do belong.

At the time of conception, I was in the midst of consecutive life changes and figuring out where I fit in with everything that was going on.

In the space of just a few months, I'd gone from working in a job I didn't love, but had been at for 7 years, to being unemployed for a month, then undertaking a short-term contract which was abruptly cut short the week before Christmas.

During the time of the contract job, I'd received an email from the property manager of the unit I was renting and had lived in for the previous 6 years (5 with my cousin as a flatmate and just over 1 as the sole occupant which I'll possibly create a blog post about later), that the owner wanted the unit back and as required by law, they were giving me the 90 days notice.

Finding myself yet again unemployed and struggling to meet the demands of being a sole occupant, saying it was a stressful time would be an understatement.

I had welfare payments coming in, but that was enough to cover a week's worth of rent and a few other expenses, within reason.

I was determined not to move back home, as it'd taken me SO long to get out of there in the first place, so when a lady (who I was close with) from the church my family goes to, was desperately searching for a house and dog sitter, I jumped at the chance. Even though it meant I'd suddenly gone from needing to be out in over a month, to moving out in a week and having to condense down 6 years of living in a 2 bedroom apartment with internal laundry and garage in such a small time frame. Also, 'clean' and 'tidy' are words rarely used in my vocabulary, so it was far from an easy task.

Through sheer determination the move was done in time (much like every time I'd left an essay to the last minute, but since the cut off was midnight, submitting it at 11:50pm or thereabouts, still felt like a massive achievement), with the incredible help of family and friends, and I was able to take it easy for a few days in my new residence.

It was nice to have a new home of sorts to myself for a few weeks, although it still felt like I was in between.

I knew it wasn't a permanent solution, and this was brought home even more so when the owners returned and resumed their daily life.

While both are lovely people, and I'm grateful to them for opening their home to me, it just wasn't 'it'.

I wasn't part of their family or how they did things, and the only other alternative was going back home, which, as it turns out I was essentially forced to do a few weeks later due to the room being needed for other guests they had coming.

It's such a strange feeling to not really know where you belong, and more so, very unsettling to not feel like you belong anywhere in particular.

I think it's a much bigger issue than just having somewhere to live. It's about who you connect with and who your 'tribe' is. Something I think I've always struggled with throughout my life.

I grew up in a devout religious environment which I left when I was 18 because it was the youngest age I could legally leave at (my parents knew they couldn't make me go when I was legal age, but any younger and I had no choice in the matter). I loved watching music videos on Saturday mornings and TV shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Most of the kids I grew up with didn't have TVs or weren't allowed to watch or engage with the things I was, which made me the outcast.

As I got older my interests changed to include Harry Potter, and later again, spirituality, which was vastly different from the religion I'd known, yet I felt a really strong pull towards it, and still do.

While I'm aware that there's a huge Harry Potter fanbase and community, as well as with spirituality, there's something really unique about finding the one that best fits you, and that usually takes time to do that. Just like it takes time to find your thing, and ultimately yourself. Something I'm still in the process of doing.

It's been nearly a year now since I moved back home and one of the things I've realized is that everything I was fearing was based on the circumstances of how I left. Mum had passed on, so our complicated relationship was null and void. My brother had moved out a year or so beforehand, so it just left dad and I to our own devices, and admittedly a lot of emotional and psychological baggage.

I acknowledged though that I'm also not the same person I was when I moved out. I've done years of personal development, moved 3 times, traveled overseas a number of times, had a long-term and short-term job, both of which taught me a lot and allowed me to grow further within myself. How I handle things now is different, at least in some ways, but the situation is different overall. I have all the freedom I always wanted to have and I'm making it work for me, at least for the time being.

I'm not sure that the family home is where I belong though. I'm not sure exactly where is, but I think that's all part of my life's journey, or at least this particular part of it. As a number of people have said to me, I'm back home with dad for a reason. Maybe that's to heal things, to learn how to respond better, or just not respond. Maybe it's for me to learn and grow, or to show dad by example all the things that are possible but not the norm, I guess I won't know until it's time for me to.

In the meantime, I'm growing more and more content with just surrendering and going with the flow, knowing that whatever is meant for me won't pass me, and to gradually release the baggage of the past so that one day I'll truly find somewhere I belong.

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