After one month of living in a student accommodation in a country different than the one I was born in I've started pondering whether there is a place I can call home. Is it this room in a flat shared with four other people, or is it in Finland under the roof of my parents? To be honest, during the last months in my parents' house I didn't exactly feel like it was where I truly belonged. My room hadn't for a long time felt like anything personal or intimate, but more like a location of storage and a necessary base for getting my nightly rest. There isn't any room or place in the entire house that would have felt particularly dear to me. I'm not saying I dislike the house itself - I just don't find myself notably attached to it as a home.
Independence is something I crave for and now that I no longer have my family fussing about and having opinions on my habits and schedules I feel somehow more content. Economically I am all but independent though, but right now that doesn't bother me too much since I manage at least parts of my life myself.
Now back to the question of home.
I don't actually know if can call the place I live now 'home' either, for externally it reminds me of something between hotels and hospitals not being very homely or inviting. It's fine though and I like it here. I like having space for my own kitchen equipment and my own bathroom. I can buy whatever food I want to have in the fridge and choose how often I can be bothered to hoover.
However the truth is that when the summer comes I'll have to drag myself and my belongings back to Finland only to return in the next autumn to get settled in some other flat with new people and a different view from my window.
When I come back from the university after a day of lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials this is where I end up. Sometimes I refer the place as home, sometimes as Opal, which is the name of the accommodation firm and this building. Behind the locked door I can wear whatever rags I like and look however uninterested and exhausted I please. The walls are thin so I don't feel comfortable at crying or screaming very loudly. Although, when in the mood that creates suchlike needs I usually couldn't care less how amazingly non-soundproof these walls can be.
I don't really have a say in the decoration of this little cavern that is my room for the bed, the desk, the bookcase, the closet and even the curtains are standard Opal style. I can stick pictures on the walls as long as I take care of them not leaving marks, which would practically be punishable by death. If I had the will and the money I could make this place more like mine but since it's a temporary residence anyway, I haven't made a major project about it.
So, regardless of these little restrictions I consider this apartment a place where I can be myself and relax.
Still it's not home.
Home is where your heart is, they say.
Whether one's heart lies amongst people or not - for some prefer living alone and some sharing their daily life with others, home is somewhere safe and pleasant and comfortable.
I admit that I am not very sure where my heart is. The most accurate expression is probably that it's kind of divided between multiple directions.
Throughout my life I've been trying to imagine what kind of future I'd build for myself. Sometimes dreaming of living on my own, sometimes imagining someone by my side I've created a limitless amount of dream realities with Siamese cats, skylight windows, purple carpets and sci-fi movie posters. I enjoy going in detail in my daydreams, and my brain holds an impressive archive of variable decorations plans, ideal careers and pet names. Despite of knowing I will never see those dreams come true I keep on making them up just to distract myself from the instability and unpredictability of basically everything. Situations change on their own from day to day, sometimes in minutes and mostly there is only so much we can do about them. Of course making plans is very reasonable and useful for without having thought things beforehand at all we'd be constantly unprepared. For me realising the difference between plans and dreams has been nearly ground-breaking for I can't really expect every dream of mine to come magically true whereas the success of plans is actually in my own hands.
Am I even making any sense?
Now let me gracefully leap back in the topic of home, which will somehow have something to do with the whole dreaming/planning issue I've drifted in.
Home and heart are connected then. My heart is quite attached to people but since people don't stay still but are constantly on the move and are unevenly split around it's impossible to pinpoint where exactly my affections most belong to. I am also emotionally and otherwise dependent on dancing but luckily that's something I can always have with me. My love for photography has lead me here in South-Wales and I hope it will keep leading me to places I wouldn't wander by myself.
Perhaps my heart is a little restless hence unable - or unwilling to find a peaceful harbour that it could identify as home. I am young, though, and apparently young people tend to be restless and adventurous. Nevertheless, it is rather bizarre not to have an absolute notion of where is my home. My biggest dream is to travel around the planet seeing and experiencing things I couldn't find anywhere else. Maybe when I'm too old and grumpy to explore the world anymore I'll decide to make my home somewhere and become a hermit after all.
"And if I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free."