The other day I watched, Who Do You Think You Are?, with Michelle Keegan.
In it, she said that she felt, “At Home”, only when she was in Manchester (the city she grew up in) – that she felt comfortable when she was there (as opposed to trekking about the globe, making exciting TV shows). I lived in that city too, for seven years; had a great time, it’s a cool place.
However, seems I’m not like her. I don’t feel any more comfortable in one place than I do in another. Whether that’s the area I grew up in – lived in for the first twenty-one years of my life – or many of the other places I’ve lived-in since then.
Most people I speak to – or read about – seem to have a place, like Michelle it seems they feel different when they are there – comfortable, relaxed, at peace, energised, supported, part of the crowd … call it what you like (and different people call it many different things).
Finding somewhere to settle – That seems to be the aim most people have … Or, instead, is it how they end up?
I think Michelle is quite young to have found that feeling – I’d look, but then asking isn’t polite is it, though I’m not sure asking Google counts? – but I guess I know people younger than her who have done the same thing. In fact, I have met (know well, in some cases) many people who were born in (and then never left) the place that they consider home – Though I would guess I know more who went out and found their place (whether through work, or study, or meeting someone else) somewhere else.
Being homeless seems to effect how other people see you; it seems to make them think that something is missing in you and your life – That you lack an anchor, or maybe that you lack a particular thing to give your loyalty to?
Some people can be quite fierce about it – Find it very difficult to believe that you don’t love their place as much as they do, or at least love a different place the way that they love theirs. I have met a few other people who believe that you can park your caravan wherever you like and call it home … But then, if they think about it, they probably realise that their definition of home is just a bit narrower than most folk?
People Or Place (or both)?
However, is home really anything to do with place – for almost anybody – or is it the people that they are surrounded by? Are those feelings of … belonging … tied more to the people than the location? Is that what it is? If so, maybe my definition is narrower than most?
Home Is A Many Layered Thing
Whichever it is, home seems to be an onion skin, it has quite a few layers, doesn’t it?
For many people their house is their home. However, ask them where home is and they’ll probably tell you it’s village or suburb, the town, the city – the county or the state, maybe the country, or even the continent – in which that house is located. Only when you are standing with them, very close to their house, do they say, ‘No14 High Street’.
It seems, for many, home is a bit like a Russian doll.
It’s interesting … I’ve heard very few people ever say ‘the world’ was their home.
However, I’ll bet you good-money that, once humans are intergalactic space travelers, we tell all the aliens we meet – in galaxies far, far away – that Earth is just that.
Thought Bubble: Is it then true – for most people – that the further you are away from it, the bigger your home gets?