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It had always been wherever the family is. At least for me.
Home is where the heart is. (But does my heart really belong at home? Does it really belong to the people who raised me to be the person that I am today?)
And I thought family meant home but it wasn't until when I started having my own identity and shaping my own thoughts and actions, I started thinking home should mean something else instead.
Something much more than that. Something that isn't eating away my sanity, to say the least.
It's really not always what you think it is, though. As I grow older, I started realizing how different the definitions have become, and I no longer am ashamed to have it defined my way.
I thought I could find peace and joy in the most obvious of places. The place where I grew up, the place where I come back to every day... because it's safe.
Little did I know it's also the darkest, saddest, and most dangerous place I've ever known. It wasn't like how it used to be, and it definitely isn't going to get any better.
So I decided to tell myself that,
"You are allowed to not be okay.
You are allowed to weep the night away on your favourite pillow.
You are allowed to just breathe and that’s more than enough."
There are days when I get envious of other people's homes; their families. It seemed as though they weren't as problematic as mine, as deeply wounded I've actually become. The grass just seemed greener on the other side.
Or so I thought.
And whenever I see a friend being in a relationship, I yearn for one too. Not because of desperation, but because I wanted, for once, someone who'd actually understand me for me.
But what we only see most of the time is almost always just the surface. Name-calling, restrictions, abuse, bullying, gaslighting, and judgmental remarks are only just a few worth mentioning that are beneath it all.
As I grew older, I started realizing that me and you are not really that far off. I have curfews and you have a dad who's having an affair. I get mistreated at home and you have a family to feed. We're all the same, just facing different difficulties. The point here is, everybody faces their own demons.
And any problem is still a problem, regardless if it's big or small. (Do not ever downgrade your own problem, but do not make it an excuse to continue sulking over it too.)
That's when I know that, heck, I could connect with people.
You see, we all have varied definitions of what a "home" could be. Of what a home should be. It may be a loving home for you, a trip to a destination where no one knows about, or a person embracing you because he loves you for you.
And despite our differences in that, there's the similar struggle that kind of pulls people together, creating a bond that only a few could really ever understand. It really doesn't matter whom you turn to in times of trouble or in times of joy, because home is supposed to make you feel wherever you should belong.
But for now, my home is wherever my heart takes me to. And even if a family couldn't be the home you longed for it to be, find another home that you could connect to. Find a home... because all of us deserve a place that's safe, happy, and warm.
I've definitely found mine, in the form of a sweet, loving person;
A destination where new experiences are created;
A warm embrace even when it's 35 degrees out here in KL;
A memory that could keep me longing for more, as it is ingrained in me evermore;
Someone who would always be there for me, as I would for him too.
It's bits and pieces of all things good, because as shitty as life gets, we all have someone or something we could run to for shelter. I hope you do. I've got a whole new perspective of "home is where the heart is," and it's all thanks to you.
To anyone out there struggling to make it in life, I'm here with you. We're in this together.