Thursday, February 18, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Maya Angelou

Remember how last night I was pretty much having a mental breakdown about this weeks' prompts? Yeah, well, I figured out what I'm going to do... Basically combine all/most of them into one post. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS AWESOMENESS THAT WILL GIVE YOU THE JEALOUSIES*?

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ Maya Angelou

I think I have a really weird concept of what "home" is. Last May, I said this on the subject: "...home is not a place but a time and a feeling."

Which, I think for the most part, I still feel. And, I kind of think goes with what Maya was saying there -- I long to be simply accepted, no questions asked, and I feel like there's no single place where I can get that. I get that through certain people, like my parents and their friends, or Mr. Man, or The Cynical Optimist. When I see them, and we sit down for dinner or coffee or whatever, I feel like I'm at home no matter where I am.

To some extent, I also feel very at home when I'm snowboarding on a quiet mountain slope, or when I'm writing in a coffee shop and surrounded by people I don't even know. That too feels familiar, unquestioning, accepting.

I'm sure a couple of psychologists would tell you that I lack attachment to places because I didn't have a stable home life as a child because we moved around a lot and so I didn't create long lasting social bonds with anyone outside my family until I was like 10. Factor in all the ridiculous amount of travel we did and how insanely huge my family is... I'm a social deviant waiting to happen!

Maybe I'm okay with that. Because I LIKED moving that much. The act of searching for a new place to live, even at a young age, felt familiar, home-like -- much more than the actual living there. It was fun for me to go to the next neighborhood and peek into the previous owners' life through all their pictures on the wall and the way their bedroom was set up. And when we planted down in North Texas and stayed in the same house for 12 years, I got restless A LOT. I still get restless if I stay in the same place too long. That's why every time I refer to the apartment on this blog, it's always "the apartment," not "home," because I'm already so BORED of CS and it's not homey to me.

At the same time, I long for the accepted feeling I had in high school when I had this, admittedly less-than-stable, huge group of friends, but it was at least CONSISTENTLY unstable. I could COUNT on one of the guys dating another guys' ex-girl and another cheating on his girl with one of my friends while she in fact was cheating on someone else, and rumors being spread between the 10 of us girls, and DRAMADRAMADRAMA. And as I merged into another (much) smaller group, I could count on the fact that by being the only consistent girl in it would lead to every single one of the guys having at least a brief crush on me at one time or another and it causing some drama, minor as it was. But I could also count on video games and racing our cars on public streets and sneaking out at 3 am for trips to IHOP, and they felt like home too.

But, that's how I met Mr. Man. And if that's not a stable social bond that feels like home, I don't know WHAT is. Because, when Mama Kat put it as "the heart that just wouldn’t quit," the woman knew what she was talking about. When I was 15, that boy burst into my life and demanded that I love him, hands down, no questions asked. I may have been in denial and fought it tooth and nail for over a year, and I may have gotten scared and run away when I was 18, but my poor heart never really had a chance. And he knew it all along, so he just bid his time until I finally CALMED THE HELL DOWN enough to be ready to admit that no matter what my head says, my heart won't quit running toward him; that wherever he is, that's home, his arms are home.

*The Jealousies: That feeling when you get when you read a really awesome blog post and think "WHY DIDN'T I WRITE THAT?!"


  1. Stopping by from Mama Kat's…

    I did a talk in church about "Where do you pitch your tent" in which I talked about the many places where I attended church but still knew I was close to God. I think you said the same thing in your post— you do not have to be in a particular place, but you are always home with the ones you love.

    Thanks for sharing,

  2. Home is where the heart is.

    Stopping by from Mama Kat's.

  3. Oy - that was beautiful. And I have the jealousies...

    I can so relate!

  4. Lovely I did a post a while back (I think it may have been from Mama Kat- she does have damn good prompts) about similiar feelings to home.

    For me home is in myhusbands arms, or my childrens. Where they are I am home.

  5. I get restless all the time, and I lived in the same house for 20 years, and I thought it was because of that reason! Maybe I'm just a "runner" at heart!


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