It’s been too long since I last participated in Food for Thought, but I seem to have an urge to purge through writing today, and have given myself the afternoon off. When I saw that this week’s theme is “home”, it got me thinking.
I have lived in many different houses, both here in the UK, and in other countries far and wide. When I was young, and lived with my family, we moved a lot, due to my father’s job. It was exciting, although it meant a lot of adjustment: new place (new country, even), new school, and trying to make new friends. In a sense, I think I had to become a bit of a chameleon, learning to read the new environment and endeavouring to become what I needed to be to fit in. On a couple of occasions, where my accent didn’t fit in and identified me as “an outsider”, that even meant adopting a new voice.
As an adult, I now have a wanderlust, no doubt because I grew so accustomed to moving about when I was younger. I now find it hard to imagine myself staying in one place for any length of time. (My record is 11 years, and I was itching to get the hell out towards the end.)
Is it for these reasons, then, that I find it hard to define “home” for myself? Whenever the question “where do you think of as your home?” has been asked of me, I have often quoted the Marvin Gaye song (although, for me, Paul Young’s cover is the definitive version), Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home). Home, for me, has always just been whatever house currently contains my bed and my belongings.
But, then, Luther Vandross sang “A House is Not a Home”.
A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there
But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home
When there’s no one there to hold you tight
And no one there you can kiss goodnight
I like the sentiment, and I’ve no doubt of its truth. But if you are a loner with itchy feet, and a reticence to commit (to either one place or one person), where does that leave one? Where does it leave me?
As it turns out, this is a timely subject for me to be musing upon, as I am going to have to move out of my current home soon due to work issues and the subsequent financial pressures that come along with them. I will likely find myself having to move out of London altogether: much as I love it, it’s fucking expensive here!! And, mostly, I’m okay with facing moving to a new environment yet again. I’m used to it, and I’m probably nearing the time when I need a change of setting anyway. But, it will heavily impact upon my relationship as it stands.
While we don’t share a home, H and I can see each other fairly regularly within our little poly dynamic. But when I have to leave, and move to god knows where, it will be much much harder. I am dreading that. I know from a lifetime of personal experience how much hard work is required to maintain the long distance friendships, let alone anything more. And when the other person also has a primary partner and kids to consider? Well, I think you’ll appreciate why I feel so anxious…
And what about opportunities to develop my kinky side in other poly dynamics? I haven’t yet grown the balls, as it were, to visit a play party, or even a munch, but what happens if/ when I do? I know it is terribly London-centric of me to say, and of course there are kinky folks in every community, but I feel like I will be cut off from a lot of potential activities and possible partners.
Who knows the future? I don’t have a crystal ball, and I know that wherever I end up, it will become my home. And, I’m no stranger to living alone: I love it. But, nonetheless, there are times that I can’t help thinking about what other things a home could but never have been for me, and wondering whether I am missing out on something warm and wonderful that could offer me a better defined notion of my own place in this world….