The beginning of a thing, sometimes spell the end to something else.
For some of us, we wake up in the middle of life. No strong recollection of years past, no strong indication of years to come. We roam through various levels of consciousness trying to make sense of it all.
To better understand life, we have to first understand this —
We have a task. And, that task is to: realize we are a living being and accept the responsibilities that comes with being a human being.
You, whoever is sitting next to you, even myself, we all react to this task in one of three ways.
Some of us realize and accept — which is the goal, many struggle with the realizing and the rest battle with the accepting. Whatever your stance, Life happens to us all.
As we prepare to embark on a much deeper meaning to a certain concept of life, we have to first decide how you react with the task. How do you view life and your participation in life? Is it a giant waste of time or a “get done all you can” within your time? Reflect for a moment.
Do you feel like life is happening without you? Do you battle with accepting there are certain responsibilities that come with being alive, like caring for yourself, bettering your surrounding, improving self but not at the expense of someone else? or do you only want to do what you want to do, never mind the cost? Do you struggle with realizing you are here right now, does pulling down other people make you happy? Where do you stand?
You have to know where you are, to know what you see. Where you are + What you see defines your experience. Your experience later becomes what you know. And majority of our lives’ determined by what (we think) we know. It is then critical to know where you are literally and figuratively, which is the ultimate determinant of what you know.
The difference between the middle of one ocean and the middle of another ocean is not what you see but where you are. The difference between a simulation (like VR) and actual events is not what you see (some VRs can trick the brain) but where you are. You have to know where you are, to know what you see. Where you are adds meaning to what you see.
After deciding where you stand with the task of three, we can progress to what you see.
The way we see the world determines what we can get out of this living experience. And, you’ll agree with me, majority of people see the world differently. Beyond the good and bad principles, most of everything in this life attracts a split decision between people.
From which water is best to drink to which toothbrush is best to use to which airline is best for travel. From minor issues to really big deals, our perspective can be similar but it also could be very different.
The longer you live, the more times you’d be faced with the humbling reminder that what you think you know is only one side of an Octagon. You may be around people who see the same side as you, or you might find yourself in the midst of others who see a different side of the Octagon.
While what you know is true to you, what the other person knows might not be false, though “unimaginable” to you. Though, on some matters, some people’s ideas are just bad, terrible. The foundation of their logic is just corrupt, in those situations, you leave them where they are and protect your views from theirs. But not every viewpoint is terrible. You understand.
In some cases, two people with opposing views (of the Octagon) can produce a functional outcome for both sides. However, sometimes it can seem impossible to blend multiple ideologies together and humans still are yet to learn a good way to deal with others disagreeing with them. You see differently (different sides) for a reason. And that’s the master key of life. How well can you work together? Can you build each other? Can you avoid those whose “views” spark their desire to ruin you?
You either know more of what you know by associating with those with similar wave length or you argue your breath away adamant to see things differently, convinced you’re all the wiser and others are none the wiser. This mental dance can last a lifetime, which is otherwise a long stretch of daily hours impossible to live through without something utterly important to engage the never quiet mind you possess. And the differences in our Octagonal views keeps us busy. Some are determined to convince others, some are determined to avoid others.
It may sound nonsensical to you the details of another’s Octagon description but it makes complete sense to them. Be then enlightened enough to realize you might be the one still unintelligent to imagine the sensical height of what seems nonsensical to your ears.
What am I getting at? We experience life at different pace and our recounting of events can contradict but does not invalidate the other.
There is a wrong way to live life, clearly, obviously. This point has been fundamentally agreed upon across various moral models known to man. These wrong ways are identifiable by you, no matter how helpless you tend to be towards them. There is also a right way to live life regardless of the side of Octagon you’re accustomed to. Those are the basics. Let’s agree on the basics. Let’s agree that things that improve life for you and humanity is good and what damages you, destroys humanity is bad. No mix and match, good is good, bad bad. At least, let’s agree on the basics.
Majority of your life would be spent sifting through what is right to you, what is right by you, what is right to do, what is right to expect. And, what wrong means to you, what is wrong for you, what is wrong to do and what is wrong to desire. Your answers would invariably change, no matter your IQ level. Your answers would always change, no matter your “I’m cool” level.
I am in the bubble, as it stands. I have been unable to completely pour out the thoughts engulfed in that bubble. The bubble from whence I’m to realize what right means to me at this point in my life and what wrongs I’m yet able to escape. Honesty to self is the entrance to wisdom.
It’s not righteous to attest to being pulled by, drawn to or enjoy wrong doing, well certain wrong doing, but the truth of it is the meaning of “wrong” differ from person to person and changes from time to time. While there are hard wrongs — we already agreed on the basics. The “soft wrongs” are more concurrent, more demanding and addicting. The side of the Octagon you’re faced can intensify or offer relief to coping, overcoming or avoiding wrong doing.
I am in the bubble, at the moment, it’s been four days since I began pulling what it is my mind is uncovering, what exactly is the message and what do I do with it? Let’s pull some more, together, and see what becomes of it. Well, time flew. At this point, it’s two weeks later since I wrote the above, but we can still do this. Grab your ideas, let’s dig together.
I find myself perplexed by the concept of Home. What is home. Especially, what have I been thought to be home? before I form an opinion colored by media’s influence, what message did my parents and caregivers share with me at my tender age relating to the concept of home. Who can remember? Parents are not the same because they’ve been influenced by new age media. Caregivers are not the same because they’ve been influenced by the irresistible pull of societal word of mouth and society is influenced by recent media. But here I am, mid way through life with a burning question.
Could I walk my way back to my crawling age, filter out what was being said to me as a caution, to forewarn me — could I maybe filter voices separate from the sounds of TV and noise from traffic. Could I suck my thumb to the days when I looked up at adults, people I couldn’t wait to be, for some answers. Days I felt tied indoors, with no strings. Days all I wanted to do was burst outside and run around with the neighborhood kids. Children who had brothers and sisters, kids who could afford to be bruised and their mother wouldn’t notice. Days I wished sunset would just give us one more hour before everywhere became dark. In my days of unbearable eagerness to play with friends, did any of the words said to me register somewhere in my non listening ears? Who listened? Who remembers? Life took all those friends away, the parents have since formed new ideas, leaving behind old philosophies. I believe the truth is in the past, not otherwise. So walk back I shall till I’m crawling back to decades old wisdom but where do I begin?
For some of us, we wake up in the middle of life. No strong recollection of years past, no strong indication of years to come.
What is home? Who will tell me. Not the internet surely. Not new thinking. Is there anyone frozen in time who could share a hint or two or three? What is home? How do I return if I don’t know the way back? How do I return if I don’t know the geographical or metaphorical point to return to?
An improved quality of life demands one returns home. If home is where I am, then there’s no where to return to, I can carry on with other aspects necessary for an improved quality of life.
If home is where I left then I can go back but would I then be the stranger at home, if home is no longer familiar? would I then be the stranger at home, if home is no longer as I remembered?
If home is people, do I lose home when I lose said people? or is home just a word that shouldn’t be mystified to mean something deeper than a four letter, four sided structure? Is home merely physical, and not mental? Is there not such a thing as a mental home? for the kid in me chooses to believe that while we live in a home, the home inevitably, lives in us.
This is a tall task. And, I don’t know if all my present knowledge can tackle the depths of these questions. Hope becomes vital, so let’s hope. Let’s hope to find home, are you with me?
To broach the question, let’s review a challenging quote I wrote years back:
“While I had what I was looking for, I did not recognize what I had, so I went looking.”
One step forward, five steps back is not my ideal way of walking. Going around a roundabout is not my ideal choice of travel. Neither would I live stagnant or be overly resistant to change. I check and cross check my actions and decisions to make sure I don’t make unnecessary moves which would make the quote “come true”. And as I often say to those around me, “I cannot (afford to) make a mistake.”
Mere words can sometimes be frightening, intimidating and limiting. The quote forces me to ask the question, well, what do I have? Am I chasing tail or am I going through a bend but moving forward? Similar motions yet two very different paths.
It very well could be that a lot of people are “at home”, you know, not everyone is lost. And, I very well could be included in this “a lot of people”. Yet, if “a lot of people” don’t recognize home, they’ll leave home to go look for home but they were already home. People who don’t recognize what they have, give up what they have, go round the block a few times then wish for what they once had.
I want to know where I am and enjoy it for what it is. A lot of people break a home to go look for greener pastures only to realize the former pasture was where they belong, only to realize the light headaches and discomfort they felt was much better than the troubles of these new supposedly “greener pastures”. I’m not saying don’t seek better, I’m saying are you sure your present is so terrible? it’s a constant struggle between contentment and complacency. Between stream and desert. Do I go or do I stay? Which is the mistake? To attempt the question of what is home, we have to first understand where we are.
Do you know why apples don’t fall far from the tree? Because the tree is home! Haha, that was good, wasn’t it?
Home is where everyone returns.
The way to catch a criminal is to wait for them at home, everybody, eventually goes home. The mental pull of the concept of home is so strong no one can resist, it is sown into the fabric of our identity, like our name or recognition of our face or the tone of our voice. Our idealized home is us. So it is very important to identify or better understand what exactly is home to you. What or where is this place we will eventually return?
Home is memory.
Well, places change. Too bad. If this is all we have to go by then sound the alarm because we’ll forever live in the past and never in the present, you can’t drive ahead looking back. Even with that, this still holds true. What I remember of home, is in fact a memory. Which argues that home is mental.
Home is an environment.
People move away, you move away. This can’t be it, if it is then a cult where no one leaves might have an advantage over normal life. An environment never stays the same. I’m finding I have a bias to think that home is constant. I just cannot imagine an influx of new elements yet still think of the environment as home, no, home is constant. The pictures on the wall aren’t moving, the furniture is the same. The same familiar noise and bustle. That’s home. No changes, no addition, no aging. Everything else, everywhere else is a vacation. Hotel rooms change but home doesn’t. So, if home is an environment, which it is, I would need more from home for this logic to make sense because environments are not constant yet my bias says home is constant.
Home is a time and place and age.
People grow older, climate change, time waits for no man. Attempt number three. Home is a time in our life, a place — definitely a place and an age, an age we lived in this home. Have you moved out of your childhood home and now as an adult when you think back to that home you have this feeling of being robbed of something? or when you see another family living in your childhood home, you wish they didn’t? Have you heard stories of people who no longer live at a home but protest changes made to that home? they voice their disapproval of any modification made to a home they no longer live in? Actually, not surprising, a lot of adults buy their childhood home, sometimes to live in but mostly to keep every other family out of it. Even more popular, some adults never move out of their childhood home, even though they could live anywhere else and have outgrown the house. That’s the power of home as a place. It serves as a continuous stream of time and a continuous progression of age. I do confess I have thought about it more than twice the only thing saving whichever family is in my childhood home is my bank account. I don’t have enough zeros to go buy it. Even though I would not live in it, you see. It’s not just the building though, the furnitures and old television has to be in place like it was growing up. Tom and Jerry, Spiderman cartoons on Saturday morning while during commercials, I rush to go buy eclairs from the kiosk up the road. This is probably it, because I spent more time expressing this concept. I miss the time, the place, the age but I’m grateful for this time, this place and this age.
There are various types of “home”. Some can be reached, others are sadly forever gone. The children books however would note that home is (a time, a place, an age) where you feel safe for a considerable period of time. If that’s the formula, can we copy and paste that into adult living? Home is not about feeling safe, rather than adults telling kids what home is, kids should be telling adults what home is because adults don’t know what they’re talking about. A person can feel safe yet not feel at home. A person can be in the midst of a sheetstorm yet feel at home with their comrades. While a home should feel safe, safety is not the sole identifier of a home.
Home is people.
But people are fickle. People also don’t live forever. Countless individuals lose their way when a parent dies, regardless of the age they were when they lost the parent, because to some degree home is associated with that person and losing that person shreds a good amount of the walkway home. Listen to Andre 3000 on Life of the party and you’d begin to understand what I mean. People are lost because they’re not home. Majority cannot find their way home because a bulldozer called life has wrecked every possible landmark connecting person to home. But there are different types of home. Home is not just one thing. It’s a mirror shattered on the floor, the more mirrors you can put together, the better. But don’t walk away from all mirrors because you can no longer have that perfect un-shattered full scale mirror that it once was.
Since the beginning of time, people have found their way to get lost. As far back as the early ages, Jesus came for the lost. Solomon lost his way. David did too. So did Samson, Joseph escaped miraculously but still was lost in his younger years, being sold and all, yet he recovered. He knew something Paul knew. Paul was lost, well Saul was, Paul recovered. Uzziah never did (recover). Being lost is not terrible, never being found is. Choosing not to be found is the unfortunate. Because life loses its meaning and sometimes a person just lacks the know how and strength, courage whatever it is that the brain lacks to pick itself up and walk straight on. How do you carry on if your reason for carrying is no more? You don’t just go find a new reason, or maybe you do. How hard do you attach, more importantly, how much of a die hard are you to unattach? JPeterson would say “kill the idea, before it kills you”
Home is where your friends are.
The more adult you become, the less friends you have. The less troublesome people you want to be around. The less you want to be bothered by the shortcomings of others. While you pick your friends more selectively, the scope of home shrinks accordingly.
Home is a person (not people, a particular person).
Home can be thought of as The arms of a lover. One particular lover. For some people, for example a widow or simply broken hearted or both, this lover is someone in their past. For some, this lover is who they’re with, for others they’ve gone a life time and still have not met their home.
When I grew up, my late teens ushered me into a new thinking of home. Home was now a place to leave. For the next decade and a half I would be fleeting every resemblance of home. Home became complacency. Home became boring. So I sought adventure. I sought it from country to country, city to city, plane to plane.
And here I am, just turning a new age which I’m yet to find comfort in, years seem to be running so fast. 25 keeps drifting away and 40 seems too close. And, boomerang, I’m back to the concept of home. What is home, where is home?
Lately, I think this time last year was when it started, the trinkets started dropping, and come April the garden became a tree. Where I could surely say, I feel betrayed.
Lately I feel betrayed. In a better attempt to explain, I should say lately I have the feelings of being betrayed. The more I understand or better still, the more I agree with the concept of no way home, I feel sad, that that world is lost, you know forever gone. Parents aren’t as young anymore, I’m not as childish anymore, places changed, what’s there to return to? are we then lost by our choosing or lost by default? because if we’re not home, we are lost right? For Ms Gloria Vanderbilt, home was a vivid memory of a world but a world that never was. How do you return to that? People’s attachment to home materializes in many different ways. Home is the strongest linkage to one’s childhood.
As a kid, home felt less like home on nights when I went to bed before my dad got home for the day, knowing the family was not “complete”, everyone was not yet home, the door could not be shut definitively for the night, because dad is stuck somewhere in Lagos traffic burdened by how to make ends meet. The idea of home and the idea of childhood intermingles but they’re not one and the same. The super religious would say “home is heaven, not here”, well thank you. That’s too heavenly an answer. Those least religious would say “home is six feet deep”, well thank you, that’s too finite of an answer. If the past is gone, yet home remains, then we have to find it.
As a teen, home means ancestral home, there was no other meaning of home. Home is where you’re from. Not a structure, not people, but culture. Way of life, an unspoken understanding, common and familiar challenges and predictable obstacles. A realm I was part of and a flow of common consciousness. Life that I’m used to. A setting I could maneuver effortless, a place where living came naturally. That was home. I have never been able to access this information until this moment, this is the first I would reach a place where I could translate what the teachings of parents and caregivers was understood to be, as a teen, this was my truth to the meaning of home.
For me, especially my teen years, living a place different from my ancestors, the idea of “temporarily changing home” was based on an unspoken agreement between me and nature that I would live temporarily in my new home then surringly find my way back to my ancestral home. For me, one can be lost at home or home at home. For home is where your roots rest. I want to be the one who carries the torch that was before me though improved than I found it, as opposed to the one who leaves a huge gap in his family tree. A team player with my heritage, not a lone player forging an entirely new path using up all my energy to deny those before me. Complicated but it makes sense in my head. Walk with me.
Yesterday before I drifted off to sleepland, I asked myself the question, where do you want to live and die? I couldn’t answer that. The whole world is an option, I have no answer. Too many places with no place to go.
Some places would make life harsh for you, that’s just that. Some places can make life less harsh for you. Some places can make life more enjoyable for you, some places can make you hate life, that’s just that. Where does breathing come easy?
You’ve been on this journey with me for some time, let’s wrap up.
Home is everything. Home is both mental and physical, am I forgetting the spiritual? yes, for now, I am. Home is where you are, home is where you’re not. But that’s lazy of an answer. Let me gather my thoughts.
Home is where breathing comes easy for you. Where do you want to live means where do you want to be alive which means where makes you want to live? for a place that makes you want to live should be the only place you live. Simple in its complexity.
Where do you go when there’s nowhere to go? You go where you can breathe. Where you can easily breathe. Both physically and metaphorically.
How do you build home, for those who never experienced a good home, and how do you rebuild home for those of us that were safe from harm? If home were people, then we’re in trouble. Some people would make life harsh for you, that’s just that. Some people can make life less harsh for you. Some people can make life more enjoyable for you, some people can make you hate life, that’s just that. Who makes breathing easier for you?
It’s ok to not be home but its not ok to not make your way home. Home can be a house where breathing comes easy to you, but when the cultural or political environment change and you begin to choke, that’s no longer home. You have to forgo the physical structure and escape the suffocating climate to a new home. We’re nomadic by default.
Home can be a person who at their default state makes breathing come easy to you. It’s important to add the default state because with a person who’s naturally a giver you dont have to worry much about the few times they might reject the idea of giving. A person who is friendly at their default, you don’t have to be troubled by the few times they’d be unbelievably rude. A person who is peaceful, humble at their default, you don’t have to worry about them being too much otherwise. The rule is so frequent and steady, you dont have to pay attention to the very far and inbetween exceptions. This is who you’re looking for, not someone who’s exception makes life easier for you but when they revert to their default state you find yourself choking every five seconds. You understand me.
Home can be a person who makes breathing come easy to you. When that person passes away, you have to carry on living in their memory while you allow yourself to welcome someone into your life who makes it easy for you to breath. Do not live with someone who suffocates you. It’s practically common sense. You can not live with someone who suffocates you, you wont be alive too long. It’s practically common sense.
Home is not just one thing. It’s a mirror shattered on the floor, the more mirrors you can put together, the better. But don’t walk away from all mirrors because you can no longer have that perfect un-shattered full scale mirror that it once was.
Whatever makes it easy for you to breath that’s a part of the broken mirror, add it to your collection. If I can breath comfortably in my ancestral home, then yes, I’ll live and die there. If I can’t breathe there then I’ll not live there, I could die there though as little as that could be in my control.
Because truthfully, my ancestral home is no longer how I remembered, the social stream of consciousness has become much unfamiliar to me being away (unplugged) too long. But humans adjust, adapt and re-familiarize overtime. Places have since changed but certain resemblance remain the same, noise and way of life. Wherever I choose to go in the world I would have to plug into the consciousness of that place anyway. Therefore, my teen thinking is not too far off — as long as breathing come easy.
When you’re old, since most of us live in our heads. Home, truly, is where everyone returns. Home is a time and place and age. Home is an environment. Home is memory. Home is a person (not people, a particular person). Home is where your friends are. Home is people. Home is a smell. Home is the sound of car horns and ambulance sirens. Home is the sound of an aircraft descending overhead. You can remake home or you can build home, the only criteria to make it home, is the element of peace. No one wants to be where they can’t breathe. It doesn’t matter how much your house costs if you die a little every time you’re inside. No one wants to be with who they can’t breathe with. It doesn’t matter how much they love you, if they drown you every chance they get. No healthy person wants what stops them from breathing. An endless flight response is not home. An endless fight response is not home. Home is where you belong, not at the detriment of yourself or damaging of humanity, human is where you are your most good. Home is with who you are your most good. Home is what brings out your most good. Home makes you want to live to 90. Then pray to live to 91. Then beg to live to 92. Then kick and scream to live to 93. Then stretch all the way to 94. That’s home. Physical and Metaphorical without losing sight of the Spiritual.
You are called to live a simple life. You are required to live your best life. You are to be your best self. No excuses. Things you take with you and those you bring with you and where you go is up to you. The privilege of choice is the gift of life. Seek wisdom before you choose and choose according to the principles that come natural to you at the improvement of your life but not at the expense of another’s. You are required to live your best life, your very best life. Go make it happen.
We’ve reached the end of this journey, it’s been a long one but a rewarding one. I’ve reached answers. I understand what home can be, I acknowledge what once was to never be again and I accept it. I know what home now is and what it should be. The time has come to decide what it all means to me in the practical sense and how I can adjust thinking and direct life according. So home can someday mean to my children what it once meant for me with the added touch of easy breathing. Sacrificing all else and exemplifying a simple life. For in home I am determined to dwell.
“While I had what I was looking for, I did not recognize what I had, so I went looking.”
As long as I know what I’m supposed to be looking for, this quote would not come true. For while I have what I was looking for — which is a simple life, breathing easy, it would be foolish to give that up. I would have no reason (hopefully not) to give up what I have to go looking for it. The key being recognition but mostly contentment. People give up a happy home to go build a happy home with someone else, it doesn’t work, I don’t think, I don’t know. But there’s something wrong with that logic, it seems. It seems greedy even. If you have a family that loves you and that you love, you wouldn’t give that up right? you would think, if only we were rational, mistakes and life lessons would not be a thing.
But first, I have to have it. But if I’m suffocating then it doesnt really matter what I have, does it? I would go looking for better. If I don’t know what I’m looking for, I won’t recognize it. If I don’t know what matters, how would I know what (I have that) matters? Complex in its simplicity.
Passenger said “home is where the heart is but my heart is wild and free”. If you live where breathing comes easy, your heart will thank you. If you live how breathing comes easy, you are wild and free. If you live with who makes breathing come easy, then truly, you have it all.
Home is the what, who and where. The formula is easy breathing.
Based on the path you’re on, what does this concept of home confirm for you? Are you home, finding home or running from home? Are you, at the beginning of something or at the end to something?