What home means to me
Somehow – I don’t know
how – I seem to have spliced these homes together. The space between them used
to feel so large. The longing seemed so immeasurable. I didn’t know how to
navigate my way in the space between these lives; how to negotiate in the space
of this longing. But now, somehow, it feels like I can move easily between the
three places I’ve built my three lives.
There is the big city on
the big island, which is where I live now: a place that forces me to think big,
and to be bold and adventurous. Then there is the town in Holland I spent
nearly three years, and to where I now return fairly frequently, tapping myself
back into the career and the life I built there. This place gathered me in, in
a time of acute grief and shock; and at the same time I had a career I could
never have hoped for. It was a place of dreams made real, and nightmares
And of course, then there
is the small town on the little island. Sometimes I still physically ache for
Tasmania. I want my feet back on a Tasmanian beach, and I want to stare out
into the ocean. I grew up in Hobart’s Northern suburbs, and I want to be back
on those streets again, talking to people. Back on the big island, I’ve sat
awake at night, pouring myself over the latest Tasmanian Government reports, hungry
for every detail. I have cried on the tarmac of the Hobart airport more times
than is decorous to admit.
Yet as deep as my love
for Tasmania is – as strong as my desire is – I need to live away right now. The
challenges of the big island are shaping me. I want these skills, this
knowledge, this freedom, this ability to just be myself. I want to gather all
this up. And eventually I want to bring it back to Tasmania. Tasmania makes me
want to be the best person I can be; right now, that involves living elsewhere.
This is not true for everyone, but it is my story at this point. Every time I
hear people talk about “why young people leave Tasmania” or “why anyone would
live anywhere else”, I want to bang my head in frustration. These questions
miss both the intricacy and the possibility of Tasmanians away. People leave
for complex reasons. People stay away for complex reasons. These can include
grief and love and ambition and sacrifice and devotion. Yet sometimes you can show
your love to a place by never leaving it, even when you live elsewhere.
Hobart is home. It will
always be home. It just happens that I have two other homes, as well: two
places that hold me, and make me happy. One day I will be ready to move back to
Tasmania, full-heartedly and with arms open wide. Until then, I still want to
be involved; want to help shape this place in any way I can. I am not prepared
to turn my back. And that, I think, is what a sense of home really is.
What does home mean to you?
Sophie Rigney is a Melbourne-based Tasmanian. Raised in Hobart, Sophie lived in The Hague for three years, prior to commencing a PhD at the Melbourne Law School in 2012. Hobart is still the place her heart nests in; and Sophie is looking forward to the day she will return home “for good”. This is part 2 of What home means to me, if you want to read part 1, check out Home.
If you want to read more about what home means, why don't you check out:
Where my family is here
Where I decide to love
Or check out where this all started with Russell Kelly's Going Home: 6 signs my heart was telling me to come home to Hobart .
Many thanks Sophie for a beautiful piece. If you'd like to write a piece of 500 words or less on what home means to you, please email us here. We'd love to hear from you.
Labels: What home means to me