I have come home...
I have not just come home from another thesis related trip to Adelaide. No, no! I have come home to me. Those 60 hours in Adelaide turned out to be a "coming home" in so many other ways in my life.
I got to spend time with my mum. I get along very well with my mum, now that I'm all grown up, so being able to spend time with her in her home, surrounded by so many of the artifacts of my childhood, was indeed "coming home".
I also came home in the sense of finding like-minded people who are obsessed with many of the same topics and issues that I am enthralled by. Spending time with writers of all ages (most considerably older than me) was like drinking at an oasis after a long trek through the desert! This is no poor reflection on my friends, by the way, but it is true to say that my friends do not share many of my interests, and I do not share theirs (because I'm a bit odd, you know).
Which brings me to another facet of "coming home".
My mum has worn many hats in her lifetime; she's been a makeup artist, a mother, a cleaner, a fish house worker, a professional weaver and potter, a minister, a counselor, a published writer and poet, and a university lecturer... She's a wise woman. So, I took the opportunity to confide in her about my various problems and situations and angsts, and she held a mirror up for me to see myself as I am, and to accept the person I saw in the mirror. To realize that not being the person I felt I needed to be, or not having the relationships I felt I needed to have was not a bad thing. It is quite normal for people like me. She went on to show me who I was (not at all unlike her), and show me how that was a great thing in itself. She pointed out to me how easily I slipped into the milieu in the humanities department, how well people understood me and appreciated my input, and weren't put off by my challenges but rose to meet them in respectful and open ways.
I also experienced admiration for my work - which, once again, just blew me away because I'm so used to people fobbing me off as strange or difficult or a nuisance.
The biggest coming home for me was seeing things clearly. Knowing the things I'd felt bad about were legitimate; in experiencing true inclusion, I knew in comparison how many of my previous experiences had fallen short, had been disingenuous, and how I had not imagined those things.
These experiences have freed me!
I feel free to let go of the hurt now. Free because I now understand where I belong. Free because I know I BELONG SOMEWHERE!
I have found a path for my work, as well (mostly thanks to the Melbourne Writer's Festival!). I have found a way to begin on the career path I've dreamt of for years now! It won't be easy - these things never are, are they? Now, though, I have renewed joy and enthusiasm to help me stay focused!
I have clarity about what matters in my life! About the people who matter, the work that matters, and the kinds of relationships that matter on different levels.
I have come home!
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