I’ve been wanting to write the last couple of days, but I’ve been kind of stuck with my current writing project. In my attempt to either work through this or avoid it (you pick), I’ve come up with some blog posts. They’ve all been fairly random, especially in regards to what we usually talk about around here, so most of them haven’t actually been posted (actually, most of them have only been written in my head at this point). But despite the fact that I don’t want to completely bury our blog in random and off the wall posts, I still do post some of them. Like my last post, which was even entitled Complete Randomness. Or the post about a fly in my bedroom.
I realized that to post such things I must feel pretty comfortable here. At home. And I do. It got me thinking about where I feel at home, and where I don’t, and ways that I can tell. Like many of us, I’m not always honest with myself. I often try to convince myself of things, and often I don’t even realize I’m doing it. For this reason, I find that a better test of where I feel at home is not what I think of when I think of “home”, but rather how I act when I am certain places. If I look at how I behave, it’s pretty obvious (to me) how at home I am in a particular place or with a particular person. So I did this, and thought I would provide you all with a list of my “homes”.
The first, and most important one, is my own physical home. I spend half of my days in pajamas there. I don’t worry about if my teeth or hair are brushed. Of course, even in my own home, I put up barriers, though luckily not with my own family. But if, say, the home teachers are coming over, I make sure all the dirty clothes are upstairs out of sight. I make sure I have on real clothes, and I spend the visit smiling, however I’m feeling that day. It’s not that I dislike our home teachers — it’s just that I don’t feel at home with them.
The second place I feel at home is at my parent’s house. When there, I act pretty much the same way I do at my own house (though I try to be a little better at picking up toys and dishes before bed, since I know if I don’t, my mother will stay up doing it). I don’t have any pretenses for my parents or my siblings, or even my brother-in-law. They can all experience me in all my un-showered glory (I’m sure they’re all totally excited about that, too). I also don’t have any compunctions about calling any of them (and I’m a total phone coward). The only other people who I actually enjoy calling are my husband and two friends from college.
Lately, my little corner of my neighborhood has started to feel like “home”. It’s the first time I’ve really felt this way, and it’s nice. There’s a little group of us who get together for kids birthday parties, etc, and just talk and have a good time. We also talk on the phone sometimes, and e-mail somewhat frequently. Two of the other families also have kids on the autism spectrum, so we spend lots of time chatting about schools, therapies, etc.
My other “homes” are not quite as traditional. They’re all online, and have been for quite some time. I’m quite an introvert naturally (though you can’t always tell if you meet me — that comes under the “putting on faces for other people” category), and the internet is wonderful in that it allows me to really connect with people without going too far out of my comfort zone. It also allows me to connect with people who I have things in common with who I would never have the opportunity to meet in real life.
The first place I really found a home online was on a mailing list for fans of a particular author who I quite enjoy. I was in high school, and though I had a few friends who had similar tastes, in general I was the odd one out. Online, though, there was a group of people (of different ages, from different parts of the world, in different life situations) who shared many of my tastes. We started by talking about books, but we had conversations on that list about anything and everything. I still remember the names of many of the people on there, though it’s been defunct for about 8 years.
Currently I’m on another mailing list where I’ve found a home — it’s for parents of kids with food allergies. When I first figured out that my second kid had food issues, it was completely overwhelming. I was sobbing, wondering how I was going to possibly feed my child. I was in a place where I had no family or community support (I didn’t even speak the language), and I was beside myself. I went looking online for help and advice, and came across an amazing group of moms and dads who understood, and who support each other through it all. And if you ever look through the archives and see some of the rants and raves I’ve posted for the people on that list to read, it’s obvious I’m completely comfortable there. 🙂
And of course, to bring the post full circle, I feel at home on the bloggernacle, and especially here at ZD. I think it’s one of the great things about a family blog — you want everyone there for who they are, not because they fit in nicely with what you blog about. (Though technically, it’s not my family, and I’ve actually only met one member of the Zelophehad clan; still, they seem to have adopted me, and I’m happy to have them.) So here’s to feeling at home and being able to be completely and totally my random, crazy self.