Ever since I left my home country and migrated to a new one, people often ask me “So do you miss home?” and I baffle every time thinking what to say. And I give them a different answer, every time. Sometimes to simplify the answer and cut the conversation short, sometimes to avoid the question because I don’t like thinking about it, and sometimes because I don’t know if I do miss it, or what “home” means to me now.
I think people leave “Home” for 2 main reasons:
1: to get something they don’t have
2: to get rid of something they already have
People who fall in the first category are perhaps looking for better education, security, more money, fame, happiness, I don’t know, things like that.
And people who belong in the second category are somewhat confused about what they want, but they sure have had enough of what they have had.
I belong to the 2nd category, mostly. But I often overlap it with being the first kind, especially when I am explaining to others the reasons for leaving “home”. It is easier to explain. I mean c’mon … you can’t get into a long conversation with your deepest darkest thoughts and life experiences with everyone. You don’t have time, and they don’t have time for it either … at least not always.
So … Yes, I did leave “home” because I wanted more security for my children, and I wanted better education for my family, and I wanted us to have more freedom to say and do what we want to do. And I wanted cleaner environment, and electricity available 24/7, and all those trivial things that make the daily rut of life smoother. But to be honest, it was all not that difficult to get. It was challenging but not impossible. We did get around getting all that, one way or the other.
But truly, why I left was because I needed a change of my emotional landscape, of the soap opera of the life I had. For 12 year, I fought. I fought. And I fought. Fighting and Losing both my parents to cancer. Standing up to the extended family’s lust and greed. Secrets which were kept for me for 22 years, and I treaded on their sacred graveyard as carefully as possible not to wake any dead. And living in the memory of who I thought I was, and couldn’t find time amidst that personal war to ever really live up to that.
So, I left. I actually ran…. fled. Leaving a plethora of unhappy friends and family, who never knew the extent of the pain I was in. Who never bothered to understand the agony behind the laughers. Who never understood that I probably would have suffocated to death if I didn’t just did what I did. But I selfishly did it. After a very very long time, I did something that “I” really really felt was needed for “Me”. So, I sold and packed up my ancestral home in one week’s time. And I moved. Thousands and thousands of miles away!
Yes! I miss “home”. The home that was many years ago, when I was young, and my parents were healthy and when life was simple.
Yes, I miss “home” the beautifully cherished peace of haven my parents had crafted amidst their troubled lives.
Yes, I miss “home” that protected me from all evil, once by my father, and then by my mother till their last breath.
Yes…. I miss “home” that lays buried under heaps of dust in the graveyard of Miani Saab.
But I left, because I knew, it wasn’t “home” any more. I left, because I couldn’t live in that ghost town of memories and pain any more. I left, because I didn’t know what was there for me in my future, but I was scared of what I felt I would have, if I lived on the way I was living.
Home …. Changed. It changes constantly. Every second, it changes. Like water under the bridge they say. It’s never the same. it’s an illusion of constant-ness, but in reality, It’s a devil, the fear of change, that stops us from tearing the dead skin off, which grow and grows, till it covers all our orifices and we can’t breathe any more.
So, I tore it. I stabbed myself and set myself free.
The house, the things, the memories…. I set it all free.