Why I Choose to Be Homeless

Photo by Nicolas Häns on Unsplash

It started with a few questions…

  • If home is a refuge, why does it induce fear as we leave it?
  • If having a home creates fear, is it worth having one?
  • Does having a home hold within it the fear of homelessness?

You love home. You are born into one, nurtured and loved. You are fed, watered, and bathed. You start exploring your world — leaving your cradle when no one stops you. you go into places forbidden holding someone’s hand. You explore new frontiers but make sure you know the way back. The hand you hold is your way home.

You grow, make friends, leave your mother’s hand at the nursery, breaking her heart and expanding your own. You play, talk, laugh, giggle, spew kid-wisdom…but every half hour or so, you glance around. You need to see the hand that held you. You find instead another hand that leads you to your mother. Your teacher becomes your way home.

You enter the world of pimples and acne. You no longer care for your teacher’s hand. You roam lanes, splash through puddles. You lose yourself in a book. Every now and then, you feel hungry. You open your lunchbox. Your lunchbox becomes your way home. When school ends, you run out to your bus. The bus becomes your way home.

You like a boy or a girl. Something inside you stirs. You feel …happy. You find a new way home.

You enter adulthood and enjoy its newfound power. You spend, exhilarated. You drink, uninhibited. After dark, you make a daily phone call. Your phone becomes your way home.

You move cities, you advance at work. You have few friends, but a lot of space. You begin searching for something you know not. You seek it in your dates’ eyes, you seek it in your ever-increasing hobbies. You seek it in your boss’ approval, in your colleagues’ acceptance. You continue your search.

You realize you are searching in the wrong places.

You no longer have any idea what you are searching for.

You decide to create what you need. You marry. You buy a house. You nurture a family. You have your own ‘home’ now. But building a home doesn’t help. You continue your search, in secret.

You find yourself lost. You live in a wonderful home, but there is no longer a home inside you.

You pursue a life of travel, of solitary adventure. You purchase a trailer, you hit the grassiest paths. You encounter stars, tents and friends. You find warmth, fear, courage and boredom. None of these lead you home.

You return from your travels, seeking comfort as the prodigal spouse, parent and child. You are welcomed with tears dripping down furrowed cheeks, but none of those tears wash you home.

You rest. You unwind. You give up. You surrender. You make the best of what you have.

You no longer care about finding home. Your search falls silent.

You realize you had never been given a home; you had been born homeless.

Your lunchbox had never led you home, nor the hand that once held you. You had never found home in that special boy or girl. It was you who had made them your home.

You had never lost your way, for your home lay within.

You find your way home. But this time, you choose to remain homeless.

I had a home and lost it.

I found my way back, but this time around, chose to be homeless.

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