I’ve been missing in action for the last two months. On the blog, on social media, and to be perfectly honest in real life too. Everything in our world seemed to be changing. Out of our control and happening all at the same time. I just wanted to hold on tight, hunker down, and let it all blow over. But that wasn’t really an option.
We left our home of three years. The home we became a family in. It was the ultimate upheaval and I knew I wouldn’t like it. I prepared myself for a stressful couple of weeks. But I totally underestimated the toll it would have on me, on us all, both physically and emotionally.
I’m a homebird. Most happy in my own surroundings. I prefer cosy nights in with my nearest and dearest, to sharing space with strangers. The first thing I do when going to a pub, or social event, even playgroup, is search for a home. Somewhere to ground myself. To land. To settle.
I’m a terrible traveller. The wanderlust never strong enough to counter the pull of home. Thoughts of packing, living out of a suitcase, and the chaotic return are often sufficient to make me doubt my decision to go away at all.
I’m a visual person. Things look either right or wrong to me. My sense of order is high and I’m sensitive to anything not quite in its place. I’m the person who’s peg colours have to match, and who has to take deep breaths when Bee uses the same brush for different paint colours. When it doesn’t belong, if its out-of-place, it jars with me. Moving house, nothing is where it’s supposed to be.
My home is my sanctuary. My evolutionary safe place. As a long-term sufferer of anxiety, it is my retreat from the world. Simply knowing it is there to return to, brings great comfort on an uncertain day. Like moving day, when my cortisol rose and I wanted to withdraw, but there was nowhere to go. Even my new house, at the end of it all, doesn’t look right, doesn’t feel quite like home.
So, as we slowly sift through the entirety of our lives stuffed into cardboard boxes, I find us rebuilding our little home. Impatient to have it finished. To have everything where it belongs. But actually, slow is good. Our home will become something that reflects the people we are. It will shelter all our deepest values and hopes, and as it grows, will show us what we hold most dear.
“Home is where one starts from”
TS Elliot – Four Quartets, 2nd Poem, V