The concept of home is one that has eluded me for a long time. When my mother thinks of a piece of land or a state as home, I don’t understand it. Although I understand the concept of a ‘home’ country in my head, I don’t understand it in my heart. That idea of home being a place to land, a place that is safe where I could be my complete self and be loved for all of me is seemed only available where my maternal grandmother was. Once she passed on, no physical structure or piece of land was that place for me anymore.
Growing up, I would visit the states where my parents came from and try so very hard to feel that sense of connection and belonging that I had heard about. Both sides would say that I was too much like the other and too alien to them, and I suppose, having inherited my father’s illogical exuberance and growing up with my mother’s practicality, alien was what I was. Still I tried, getting into relationships with people who knew that concept of home. Sadly, these relationships made me feel even less like I belonged, and the harder I tried to fit in, the more lost I felt.
Through this entire period however, I would have occasional instances where I did feel that feeling of being able to let my heart rest, and just be me, accepted in all my facets – sitting in a mosque alone on a rainy day, visiting my grandmother’s grave, sitting in my room after yet another fight with my (then) fiancé, and just driving around aimlessly with the music blasting. However, I wanted more! I wanted to feel that way with people, about people, about a place, about something! I dreamt about falling in love and knowing, just knowing, that I was finally home.
So like any other practical person, I left my family, the country I was born and grew up in, and the friends I had known since childhood. All in the quest of finding a place to call home.
I won’t recount it all here but it has been a long road, filled with emotional adventures. Amazing memories have been made, beautiful friends, phenomenal broken hearts, humbling experiences, laughter, tears… you know, the usual things you see on a journey. I fell in love, and for a while thought that I’d found home, but home is a place that holds you as you change no matter how, and the kind of change I was going through didn’t turn out to be the right kind.
Then something unexpected happened. Anyone who has seen me run (with or without heels), or attempt to throw a ball knows that anything physical apart from a night on the dance floor is really not my thing. Somehow, however, flying through this life, I landed on a yoga mat. Ok, ok, I admit it wasn’t the first time… but it was the first time I stayed.
So journey continues, amazing friends (I really have been blessed to heaven and back in the friend arena), great, make that awesome hugs, amazing conversations (definitely not easy ones), more laughter (sometimes to dissipate the horror of core cultivation) and more tears (fucking hip openers, one hand on the back heart and there it goes) … and then, just silence. In the silence things started happening, and I found myself exploring what was in it.
Almost four years later, I’m still on the yoga mat, still exploring the movement, and the silence. Life has changed in leaps and bounds (oh man how life has changed). It’s like layers have been peeled off, and I am discovering more of me all the time, and the thing is, I will continue to change.
But did I find home?
Well, not in the way that I thought I would. Although I still dream of it sometimes, home didn’t turn out being the fully equipped kitchen, beautiful bath, two cats (Bruce and Selina) or yard with the vegetable patch and a German Sheppard named Butch as I’d imagined. It isn’t a country or a piece of land. It didn’t even turn out being a man.
I know you think I’m going to say that my yoga mat is home, but it really isn’t.
My yoga mat and practice were the tools that took me home.
But home really is just wherever I am, feeling safe, centered and present. It’s the moments in the morning when the sunlight streams in, watching a sleeping cat, holding a baby, lying on the grass staring at the sky, listening to music as I wander along the city, walking in the rain, sitting in meditation. It’s the peace in the chaos, and the chaos of my thoughts in the silence. It’s the book that I am currently reading, the movie I’m watching and of course, it is being on the mat breathing with loved ones and strangers alike.
Home is in the places where I can accept all of me without trying too hard and without judgment, and knowing, just knowing, that I am whole as I am.