On Home

June 8, 2016
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By Zachary Sheridan
Art by Hannah Schultz

Look, I need to start out by saying this is a lame-ass, touchy-feely story.

I began thinking about where I was this time last year, and remembered how much of a jerk I was in one particular instance. I was in Hong Kong. I was with two close friends, overlooking the city’s perpetual skyline, drinking Pina Coladas. This whole trip had been on the back of a few years’ worth of reasonably hard study and this was my reward. What a reward, right? Well, no, not to me. Despite my good fortune, I kept thinking to myself (like a real jerk) that something was missing…

Home. However, not in any sense I’d understood it before.

Now, before I explain that, I wanted to reflect on some other interpretations. Whilst writing this, I asked some friends and family what “home” meant to them. One said Red Square – Adelaide’s equivalent of The Deen. Another said grooving out to Beyoncé. Other answers included being comfortable, lying in bed all day, and knowing all the sounds your house makes. My brother said it used to be stretching out on the floor in the backroom while the dim winter sunlight poured through the window, warming him, with our old cat, Ginger, lying draped across his body.

What struck me is obviously how “home” is different to us all, but at the same time, it really is always with you. When I asked people, their eyes refocussed and they looked out unto some imaginary place where home was. Of course, it wasn’t there – they were seeing it in their mind. In Hong Kong, I was thousands of kilometres away from my actual abode in Adelaide, but it wasn’t that physical thing I missed.

You see, my whole life I’ve always felt like I’m missing out on something. I’m a classic sufferer of FOMO (fear of missing out). I always thought there was some big Great Gatsby-do happening on the other side of the globe. There I was, at the centre of it all, when it finally clicked that whatever I was looking for was never external to me. It was inside, and it’d been there all along. I’d just momentarily forgotten my weird, internal home. In there housed a million memories that made me – playing garbage trucks with my nephew, watching the footy with Mum, building giant hills of sand at Aldinga Beach, and now, drinking cocktails.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that when it comes to home, and especially if you’re away from it like me, just look inside and remember that you’re always carrying it with you.

TL;DR – home is where the heart is. 

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