On Home and Real Life

We’ve been away from home so much over this last year.  We were in Iowa for a few weeks last January, then in Colorado in June.  We went to Uganda in October and then took off for Iowa and Colorado again in January.  We returned home Saturday evening.  Oddly, the reality of being home didn’t hit me until this morning.  Saturday I was just too tired to know where I was; yesterday I was busy unpacking and cleaning house.  Preliminary nesting.   I woke up in the middle of the night, needing to pee, but I couldn’t remember whose house I was in and where the bathroom was, so I just went back to sleep.  Then this morning, as I stood in the kitchen pouring coffee in my favorite cup, and the long absent sun came streaming through the window, I felt home.

bicycle in Haarlem
I’ve always had this split personality when it comes to traveling.  Half of me always has wanderlust and the other half wants to build my nest and rest there.  Those percentages may have changed.  I do know that I used to have this five day thing, where I would feel restless and want to go, but after five days I wanted to be home.  I would argue with myself about how on earth was I going to live my dream of being a world traveler if I couldn’t be away for more than five days!  Having made a few extended visits over the last two years, I’ve learned to feel more at home away from home.  Apparently now I’m at five weeks.  I was doing good this entire trip.  Near the end, I knew that the time to be home was growing near.  Then the last couple days I just wanted to get in the car and drive straight home!

Part of that needing to be home is a desire to get back to real life.  I have to keep questioning myself though about just what is real life?  I’ve been re-reading May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude.  It really speaks to me; she writes about her depression, about a need for solitude, and her writing path.  I was blindsided by a return to depression a couple months ago and have been trying to pull myself back out of that, and reading about her journey helps me understand my own.  But back to the real life question.  Sarton writes in the beginning of the journal:

I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my “real” life again at last.  That is what is strange – that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and discover what is happening or has happened.

That is what I questioned, if being with my friends and family isn’t “real life” what is?  But like Sarton, I need that alone time to figure out who I am and what I’m doing.  I have found that I don’t need quite as much alone time as she did!  I am reveling at being shut in my studio, at my desk, in front of the window.  This is my safe place, my favorite spot in my home.  I’ll try to stay here for awhile:)

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