Earlier, I was reading Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and it made me wonder about what we call home. I saw the movie a few months ago. I thought it to be beautiful and very truthful to how it feels to be away from home. I myself left home when I was 17 (like so many others) and went to another continent to study and become the person I knew I wanted to be.
Unlike Eilis, I didn’t leave because I needed a job, or money. But just like her, I felt like there was nothing there for me and that I didn’t belong. I don’t complain much about missing the family home. I don’t talk about it that much and yes, it really bugs me when I find 9 missed calls from my mom on the phone but that’s mostly because I hate it when people call me more that twice in one minute and she knows that I’ve told her many times. Still, it didn’t stop her from doing it for two freaking years.
My mom can be a real piece of work sometimes, but I can’t blame her for being who she is. I’ll just suffer in silence or maybe write about it.
Like I said, I don’t often express home sickness but a day doesn’t pass without me thinking about it.
When I’m home, i can only think about everything that is wrong with the country: public schools, terrible hospitals, huge inequalities between genders and some very narrow minded people.
However, when I’m gone, home comes to me as waking up to the sound of Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure, which was my morning companion through my three years in high school; or me reading Anna Karenina on the bus taking me to school. I can hear my mother in the car, asking me about the weird album that I was listening to — which was the Queen is Dead by The Smiths, yet another classic — still known today, and only by us, as “the green album”.
The Kinks though, were her favorite to play in the car.
I guess music always meant a pretty great deal to me.
She would spend her sunday afternoon taking me to my favorite bookshop and wait for me — for forever, she’d say — to make up my mind and to come up with at least 5 books that, and I quote, “ i need to read, or i won’t be able to live with myself”.
We were always very close, my mom and I. Very different people, for sure, but we had our dynamic and we have some very good time.
I also miss the sun. There is nothing like an african sun. I miss feeling warm without it being unpleasant like in Paris, where every warm summer day feels like a teaser from hell. I miss my friends, who also went away and whom I don’t see as much as I used to. Some of my high school teachers meant a lot to me too.
My home has no land. It has no geographical localization nor a specific time period. Home follows my days and it is made of all the people and memorizes that are close to my heart.
If I had to leave France tomorrow, I would certainly be heartbroken because it would be leaving a huge part of me behind. I guess leaving is always difficult and at first, it doesn’t feel like home because you don’t see it as growing roots somewhere but only as snatching the only roots you had in this big full — and yet very lonely — world.
As long as i’m being fully myself, as long as I am making the choice to be beamed somewhere else, i guess i’d be fine with it because i’ll always have my home with me and i want so badly to live a million lives, to taste all the figs in the world, to be someone else, someone new, to allow myself to change and to become someone i was never expecting to be, over and over again …