I just got back from a super trip to San Francisco (that blog is coming soon, give me a week to sort through pictures), but this post isn’t about that.
So, as I landed in Dubai and made my way through the Arrivals lounge at T3, I was hit by this thought – “This is IT. It’s the last time you arrive in Dubai as a resident. Next trip to the airport will be your final exit from the city!” And it left me feeling a tad melancholic. I mean, it has been over a decade that I’ve been calling this city home. But then again, was it ever really home, I wonder. While a part of me will always miss this place (because Dubai really spoils you), there is a bigger part of me feeling a rush of excitement today. A rush I haven’t felt in a while, a rush that I was used to feeling every two years, every time I moved countries.
It’s the same rush you get when you leave your comfort zone.. and you don’t know what the repercussions of your decision will be (kind of like falling in love.. when all you can do is have faith and take the leap!).
So right now, all I’m doing is saying goodbye, first to all my furniture as people come and take away one thing at a time from my house… as I smile wistfully and say goodbye to the life I had put together this past decade.. and then to the friends I made here. Before long it will be time to get on that flight and step into the unknown with a whole lot of faith as my battle armor.
And this brings me back to the idea of ‘home’. What is ‘home’ at the end of the day?! An apartment? A house that you furnish with the things you like? A place where you go to bed every night? The city that you are living in at the moment? Is it the country where you grew up?
As someone whose friends consider her to be a gypsy who is never afraid to move… let me tell you.. I am always afraid to move. The fear of the unknown is present in everyone, albeit to varying degrees. I’ve just done it often enough to know how to handle change and not be too paralysed by it. So let me tell you what I think ‘home’ is. ‘Home’ has nothing to do with geography, nor is it a physical structure made of cement and bricks.
There is an interesting scene in The Notebook, when the children and grandchildren are asking Noah to go home with them and leave Allie in the nursing home. Noah looks at his family and tells them… “your mother is my home.” 🙂
‘Home’ is that feeling. The feeling you get when you are around your parents, your sibling/s. It comes to you when you hug the person you love. You know, when your heart and soul feel completely relaxed, calm and at ease? That feeling. When where you are and with whom you are, in that moment, is all that matters, and you couldn’t be bothered to be anywhere else, or with anyone else. That feeling. When you feel safe, because you’re surrounded by genuine and unconditional warmth and love, and you are content. That is what ‘home’ really is.
So before life throws a new chapter at me (and wherever it is in the world that I finally end up), ‘home’ is where the soul needs to go for now. And that, of course, is where the family is. But before I end this post, let me just say that, no matter how attached we may be to a certain country, city, house, room.. and how many things we collect and store in this place we consider home.. all of that is just material stuff and it will all go away.. (Ask me, I’m looking at everything I’ve owned in boxes right now)..
The real thing to treasure and care about are the people who make you feel like you’re home when you’re with them. A hug from someone like that, that’s what feels like home. And that’s where you’ll be happiest 🙂