Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Today I am thinking about home.

For a pathological homebody, I am notoriously, outrageously bad at ever visiting home - and by home I mean the house I was born and brought up in, where my parents, sister and dog still live and where, by virtue of my student status, I think I legally still live as well.

I tend to leave a long time between visits for a couple of reasons - one, my family drive me nuts if I spend too much time with them, and two, I have job commitments that require me to be in York pretty much all year round, with the same holiday entitlements as any job.

So it's a recent thing, really, the idea of not returning home every term for a month or more at a time, to the comforts of regular laundry and cooked meals and vegetables and curfews and rules.

I've kind of learnt to treasure it, because of that. As much as I love "my" life (my York life), there's still only one place I'll ever call home in the truest of senses.

As Gabrielle Aplin so nicely puts it, "home is where you go to rest your bones." And there's only one place I can visit and leave feeling genuinely rested.

I love this song - it really hits the nail on the head. "I'm a phoenix in the water/ A fish that's learnt to fly/ And I've always been a daughter/But feathers are meant for the sky." Like, I really quite like being a flying fish. But I might only be able to fully relax when I'm back in the oceans of home.

Or something.

"I'll always keep you with me/You'll be always on my mind/But there's a shining in the shadows/I'll never know unless I try."

Life's about chasing the shining in the shadows, apparently. I'm trying to interpret these lyrics in the least dramatic way possible, because they are just about the natural process of being away from home. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that home, real home, never really leaves you at all. And that's great.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Precious Things

One of the more bizarre aspects of my personality is my inability to function on gift-giving occasions. I know no-one's a big fan of opening presents in front of everyone, or being sung to, or having attention poured on them, but I hate it to an embarrassing extent. When I got to university I made it very clear I didn't like it, and after a few shaky "no really guys I actually can't be here" occasions they're now good with me sneaking off to another room when the gift exchange occurs so I can unwrap my presents in peace and potentially have a sneaky cry if necessary.

The scene is set: Christmas dinner 2012, and once again we've done a secret santa. I'm not worried because I know I'm good to leave. My best friend at uni hands me a box. It's a big ass box.

So I walk outside, locate myself in my friend's bedroom and unwrap the box.

Inside the box is a letter, and it's one of the single nicest things I've ever read, ever. It was an "I love you, never change" that struck the perfect chord between telling the truth and making me feel damn good about myself. It pointed out good parts of me that I never even noticed. It also made me weep like a CHILD. But it was crying in the good way.

I now consider that letter one of my most precious possessions; I really don't know what I'd do if I lost it somehow. Which brings me to the (mildly cliche) point of this blog entry: it really is the little things in life that are the most precious.

For me, on a physical front: that letter (of course), birthday cards, photos, the necklace my mom and I both wear every day, the tacky moon pendant I used to wear every day in my wiccan phase that felt at the time like the most special thing on earth, the notebooks I wrote all my stories in before laptops were a thing, my holey old school jumper.

On a less concrete front, there are a bunch of little things that are equally as special to me: every drunk word of love ever uttered, every first-hug I've ever given out, the way my hometown smells, the way my dog smells, the texts my grandmother sends me even though she's technologically incapable.

To conclude: life is good. Little things make it 2000% better. The end.