Where is home?

Unlike a concrete house that you live in, it’s a lot harder to define a “home”.

This post is my first attempt to define it, but I was still very confused then.

Now, after the long wait and reflection, here’s my second take.

When I was just a little girl…

Home is where my parents live, where I spent my wonderful childhood filled with comic books, video games, language lessons and lots of books. The good old days.

When I was in my high school years…

Home is (still) where my parents live, with all those years of awkward teenager’s crushes, overwhelming hormonal imbalance filled with zits, self-esteem issues and weird fashion sense. The not-so-good nerdy days.

When I was in my university years, in a new country, all by myself…

Home is a whole new world in this clean and orderly city with new friends from different cities and backgrounds. It’s filled with activities: sports, organizations, lectures, tutorials, industrial attachment, summer study in France, endless assignments and projects, failed one-sided crushes. It’s a journey of self-discovery. Nevertheless, home is still inside this pretty safe bubble, University Life. The great old days.

When I was out of the education system and into the jungle working world….

Home is where I earn my income. It’s also where my exhausted body and mind were recharged every single night. No matter where it is *I’ve moved to 3 different houses in the past 7 years*, home is where I’m surrounded by the books I love and having the unlimited access to my laptop and internet. The awesome years.

When I’m single, unmarried or not in a relationship with anyone yet…

Home is when I’m in a volleyball court or the gym or the park; sweating my ass off playing volleyball with my buddies or running on treadmill or cycling non-stop for 3 hours. Home is when I’m in other countries for vacation with friends; climbing mountains, tasting some local food, taking thousands of pictures. Home is when I’m abroad, in yet another foreign country, all by myself, just to complete a course that I’ve always wanted to do.  The wonderful years.

When I’m attached or married and maybe have my own family one day…

Probably, home will have a very simple definition.

I think HOME is gonna be just…WHEREVER I’M WITH YOU :):)

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Cheers,

Sien

*I don’t know what got into me, I keep on writing these cheesy lines…oh my…

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Where do you “settle down”?

Wherever you go, go with all your heart

Some people say that “HOME is where the HEART is”. I don’t really know how to relate to this. I’m not sure where my heart lies. Do you mean where my future imaginary life partner lives? *which I have no control over how, when and where I’ll meet him* or where my parents and siblings live? or a place I’m familiar with? It’s true that my parents are both back at hometown, my siblings and relatives are all scattered in different islands, cities and countries. However, this first HOME, that I only visit for at most 10-14 days every year, during the holidays, can I still call it HOME? is my heart still there?

I’ve been spending all of my adult life in Singapore and honestly, I can’t think of anything that I can do back at ‘home’ if I ever have to go back there one day. From practicality point of view, “Home is where my income is” sounds more realistic to me. Despite all the comfort and stability living in this city, now and then, I’ll have this nagging feeling that somehow I’m supposed to belong in some other place, doing some other work. Is it just me being restless? I’ve been living here for 9 years, isn’t it time to move on for my next adventure: work and live in another city or country?  I know that our neighbor’s grass is always greener and there are many pros and cons in any place you choose to live in. Here…I’m lucky that I don’t have a very stressful job with long working hours like some of my friends have. I’ve always been a loyal and stable person who doesn’t run around in life with no purpose. I feel contented most of the days. But is it wrong if I just can’t shake off this nagging feeling? Is it because of my job? my lifestyle?  How about this solution then: stay and earn my income here, then travel around 3-4 times a year just like this part-time traveler? I stumbled upon her website yesterday. Check it out, here!

Well, I guess there are so many options out there! I’ll carefully weigh everything one by one and take my own sweet time. But for now (and probably the next 1-2 years), I will need to stay in the little red dot for a little while. A lot of unfinished businesses here! Being happy and grateful is a choice. I choose to be happy now:).

Anyway, I also love how this other author described his situation and wrote this article on finding the right place to live. I’d recommend reading the whole article for any of you who has ever considered moving to another city or country for a change of environment or just because you’re bored. Some of us need to enter the state of being restless and then gradually having the desire to “settle down” at one place and call it home.  

We fear that with all the choices out there we’re spending our lives in the wrong town, or the wrong state, the wrong climate, or country. If you’ve ever lived in the correctly suited place for you at the right time in your life then you know the feeling you’re after. You know its resonance, the feeling of being perfectly fit for your environment. The place you’re in has everything you need. The place, as Philip Larkin says, “mashed you.” Like all good things, it will eventually end, either the place changes or you do, and then you spend the ensuing days, months, years chasing that feeling.

For awhile I swore by the mantra “we’re all exactly where we’re supposed to be.” It’s a comforting idea, and if you repeat it until you believe it you can use it to quiet down your restlessness. But it only really works when you’re actually satisfied. I don’t believe it consistently. We don’t always make the best choices for ourselves.

If you can find the right place for you it can make you whole in ways that nothing else can. People like to say a place is what you make of it.That has a lot of truth to it, and the people in whatever place you’re in matter as much as anything. It’s just that no matter how much you love the openness of Nebraska it will never have an ocean. No matter how easy life is in Korea it will always be crowded. No matter how much fun New York is it will always feel indifferent.

You have to know what you want, who you are before you can choose to build a life. I’m still looking for the right place to stay for a while. I’ve had plenty of trouble, done my share of living, and I’ve seen a few things. Now I’m looking for some peace. Does anyone know where I can find it? Is it even out there?

Cheers,

Sien

*struggled to connect her words, too complicated to share everything in one post. Hence, a short one, a little peek into my wired thought:p