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February 2, 2017

When we Lose our Home, there’s Only One Thing we Can Do.

Four months later, it hit me.

I was walking through the park on a Friday afternoon, watching the rain dripping down on the pale, naked trees, sunlight filtering through the twigs.

I felt clarity that I hadn’t felt for a long time. For weeks, or months, perhaps.

I had been avoiding an uneasy feeling, which had burst out unexpectedly in the evenings, crushing me on the floor next to the grocery bags. The feeling had pushed itself out of the corners of my eyes on a bus, while the city blurred in the background.

I had lost my home.

And I wanted to find my way there, more than anything.

As I walked across the park, that feeling started to make sense. (So much so that I was actually mumbling these words aloud.)

Four months prior, I had said goodbye to the person who had been my home, my safe space, my wild side for three years.

Meeting him was so profound that I could draw a “before and after” line in my life at the moment we met.

But after crazily loving and nurturing and living that life of ours, I had lost touch with the most important person in my life: myself.

And this autumn, I started to get to know to myself again.

That person needed her own space, routines, music to listen to and, most importantly, time to write whenever she wanted.

Slowly, I started the process of constructing myself again. Building a base.

I got myself a new place with a big wooden writing desk.

I cut my hair short (a classic step on the path to independence).

I treated myself with lacy lingerie, inspiring books, great food, yoga workshops—whatever I wanted. I became excellent at spoiling myself.

There were many moments of happiness, but often I felt rootless. Like I was drifting in a river with my toes off the ground. Like I was running around with a pair of keys in my hand, searching for the right door to fit them in.

Spoiling ourselves is incredibly important, but when done alone, it’s a shallow road to recovery. For me, it was also escapism, just wrapped up in entertainment.

I kept myself busy, occupied, overworked, wasted—anything as long as I didn’t have to sit down and ask myself, “How are you?”

I didn’t want to sit with the crushing feeling of sadness, of being alone. I didn’t know how to settle down, to place my heavy bags on the floor, to make myself a nest.

But then, as I walked across the park, feeling the early-spring wind on my cheeks, it hit me: I had been looking for something or someone to make me a home. Someone to fix me, to fill me, to take my hand and lead me to where I needed to go.

The epiphany was simple: There wouldn’t be a new home, unless I built it myself.

After my walk, I placed my fingers on the keyboard and started to type. Furiously and fast, I needed to grasp those words and pour them onto the blank page.

And for the first time in months, I felt it. I wasn’t in my physical home yet—no, I was still subletting, surrounded by other people’s plants and tea cups and Yogi tea boxes.

But I had seen the sign, the one pointing in the right direction. I knew how to walk there.

So now. If you are there, feeling lonely, disconnected, isolated, the light of the computer screen glowing on your face in a dark room, listen:

Ask yourself, “how are you?”
Make your passion your life’s priority.
Treat it like your lover.
That is taking care of yourself, of your heart.

Draw your very own blueprint. It can look as small, or big or silly as you want.

That is the first layer of cement you have to lay before putting anything else on it.

Then, when you start the construction process, those walls will become solid and strong.

The wind might knock on the windows, but it will never pour anything but warmth inside.

A fresh, crisp, spring wind on your cheeks.

The kind that makes you feel alive.

~

Author: Sara Kärpänen

Image: Author’s Own

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