‘Home is where the heart is’ as the saying goes, but what happens if you struggle to define where or what ‘home’ means to you?
For me right now ‘home’ is two places: Salsburgh, the village in central Scotland where I grew up and where my parents, sister and some of my friends live; and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where I currently live and work. Although I feel extremely lucky to have two places to call home, this doesn’t mean that I want to stay in Dhahran forever (or at least until retirement) or return to Salsburgh when I leave Dhahran.
So what makes somewhere feel like home? Is it a sense of community, somewhere family live close by, somewhere friends live close by, somewhere that offers a certain lifestyle, or somewhere that gives you a gut feeling of just being ‘right’? For me the one place that has always felt ‘right’ on a gut level is Amsterdam. I love the city, the relaxed vibe and the friendly people. It’s the one place I’ve felt comfortable from the very first time I visited. Copenhagen also gave me a similar feeling (I am most definitely a Northern European at heart!).
Ever since I left home (Salsburgh) I’ve struggled to feel ‘at home’. Even though I will be in Saudi Arabia for a few more years I’ve already had anxiety inducing thoughts about where I will go when I leave, with the assumption that I will return to Scotland. Where do I want to set up a home? What if nothing ever feels right? Will I be forever packing up and moving on? Then recently, through reading various different books and listening to podcasts, I started to form the thought that perhaps ‘home’ is something that is inside you.
What if ‘home’ is formed by having a good sense of self, a loving relationship with yourself both inside and out, and a strong connection to your own wants and needs that makes you feel you will be secure, happy and content wherever you settle? Then you are freed up to look for a town and house that ticks your boxes regarding the external things such as shops, community, a big garden – whatever it is that you would like.
I’ve always struggled with anxiety and feeling like I don’t fit in but it’s only recently that I’ve realized that perhaps I over think things, and put unnecessary pressure on myself. Having more faith in myself and forming a loving relationship with myself is lifting these anxieties and I already feel like this isn’t something I need to stress over anymore.
Does anyone else have this sort of anxiety? Even if you are settled somewhere, do you ever feel like you’re not ‘at home’ or that where you live is not where you belong? Would moving help or would forming a deeper, more loving relationship with yourself help you feel more at ‘home’ in your own body and mind and therefore increase your feelings of security and contentedness with where you live? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.