You know when someone (or two someones or a bunch of someones) hurts you so deeply you can’t even form coherent sentences to describe how you’re feeling? When you wake up feeling more than sad, like someone is sitting on your chest and has soaked your sheets so they weigh on your skin? When your emotions are a roller coaster of sadness, anger, jealousy and pure, sticky hatred? Well, that’s where I’m at.
And so I went home. Not to the house I stay, but to the house where I was raised. Home. I grabbed my laundry, packed my suitcase and caught a flight to my penthouse in Bangalore.
It’s a long flight, but a heavy foot and an iPhone full of music help you make the time pass. The miles go by and the distance gets shorter until you take that exit and finally feel your stomach jump while landing.
Sometimes, when I feel the butterflies in my stomach up in the air for the first time in months, I closed my eyes. It’s totally silent, motionless, cool and calm in the sky. I closed my eyes again for a few minutes, taking a few deep breaths. I feel nothing but relief.
Going home is wonderful for so many reasons; every corner of the house is familiar though it has changed a lot since I was a kid. When your parents become empty nesters, they have more time to prowl antique stores for the treasures that decorate your house. But the bones are the same.
Your things are still there: the childhood books, the collage of quotes. Clothes you don’t wear, but can’t bear to get rid of. Soft toys. Lots of Photos. It’s all there waiting for you to come home again and bring it to life, that “Toy Story” effect. Your whole life, to a certain point, is between those walls.
And it’s not just the house that offers such comfort; it’s the land. The roads don’t change. You’ve been navigating them since you were wobbling on training wheels. They’re waiting for you. The trees grow and die. The people never leave, though they age. That’s not the point, though. The point is that they’re there.
I have to put great distance between myself and things that have hurt me. It’s part of how I heal, and the gravel roads, army land and the sunsets I grew up with are what help patch up my mangled heart and broken spirit. I wake up in my childhood bed – much too small for my childhood self – and look out the window, and I think, “I will be OK.”