Home is Therapy
Moving out of your parents' house was such a big deal. I guess at one point or the other, we all looked forward to having a place of our own. We all planned in our heads how glorious it’ll be to finally be independent. We looked forward with excitement, optimism and enthusiasm to a future yet unsure. We all wanted to leave town. Fly away. Stay miles away. It was part of the great future we envisioned. In all of these, many of us never at the time realised what home is or could be. I understand that we all knew at the time that it was where we had our parents and siblings but I don’t think we knew at the time what home was and still is.
Like Nostradamus, we gazed into the future with hope. Sadly, many of the hopes are dashed now. Never to be recovered. Dreams unfulfilled. We dreamed of what life would but it’s entirely different from the hell we are living. Yet, we dream again like morning at creation day. Yet, we hope again. At the beginning of many of these dreams is independence. Many of us fought for it because many times independence is not happily given, the violent take it by force. On the other hand, independence was given to many on a platter of gold. Many appreciate it and many don’t.
There’s now a popular aphorism “adulthood na scam”. It further reiterate that the adulthood we hoped for is not what we are getting. But is adulthood really a scam when we were the ones who thought it to be what it is not? Adulthood took off on the back of basically owning your own place or moving in with a friend, then we start to realize that we took a lot of things for granted. Whether it was our parents or our guardians, we took their provision for granted. That they provided for us easily, we thought “oh. I will be able to do this for myself once I start staying alone". On days when our parents couldn’t afford things, many of us cursed in our minds and swore that when we are independent we won’t lack for one day. Now, we are like prophetic clowns who saw visions of tomorrow tainted with humour. Sadly, the joke is on all of us. We didn’t realise then that the reason we think things would be easy for us was because someone provided for us without letting us share out of the burden and the difficulty it takes to provide. So, we thought “oh, easy job”. So, we read, worked and did everything towards moving out. Towards independence. Towards the celebrated “my own man". But we didn’t know that home is more than what we took it for.
In order to sound deep and philosophical, people always say “home is different from house”. Someone once analysed to me that house is just the structure and home is abstract; it is the alignment of love, peace, bond, and care that people show to each other. It is like when Christians say the church is not the building but the people in the building and the love of Christ in which they use in worship and relation with one another. Home because of is abstract features can be anywhere. People find home is bars. Some feel at home in libraries. Some feel at home when they travel. It is endless. Home is comfort. The comfort of never worrying about the outside world. A place where you are safe and protected from worries. However, when we were kids, we looked forward to leaving this comfort zone. But there seems to be a consensus that the ability to make it depends on our readiness to leave the comfort zone. So, the reason we had to leave home is well justified. We wanted to be people of our own means. We wanted to ‘make it’. Now that we are of age, we all sing the chorus of “adulthood na scam” to indicate how rough this journey of life can be.
Sadly, this is the case of many. We’ve struggled and toiled. Many with little yieldings and many to no fruition. Sometimes, the struggles and challenges can be overwhelming. Like a snail, sometimes we need to retreat to our shells for cover. That is why I believe strongly that home is therapy. Home can be that place where we feel most safe. It can be that break we need from the realities of the world. Home for me is our house. I see the syncretism between home and house. When I see the buildings from outside our gate, I take a deep sigh of relief. It is a place where at the gate, I drop my bags of worries and I only go in with my bags of clothes and books. When the worries come like thieves in the night, there’s always my mother’s soothing voice to talk me through them, my father’s confidence in me to reassure me of better tomorrow and my sisters' love to tell me they’ve got my back. When life and adulthood becomes too hard for me handle, I retreat to where I’m most loved and where I feel safe; that place is home. No shame in this. Home is always the therapy for me. While home is the arms of their lovers for some, home is sitting with my family talking about the better days ahead. While home is the screens of their phones for many, home is that place I go to when I need people to talk me through things and tell me everything will be fine. In essence, we all need a break sometimes, we need a place where we can be sad yet feel safe, disturbed yet motivated to soldier on; home may be these things. It may be the therapy we need.