What is home and how do I find one?

Reflection of an-almost-26-years-old female with an Italian passport, an American visa and an identity crisis.

I found a pigeon feather in front of my house in Washington D.C., then I found another on my way to a friend’s house and then another in front of the Yoga studio I teach at.

So many feathers in so little time. Who were they coming from and what were they telling me?

My grandmother sent them. My sweet, loving, deceased, maternal grandmother sent them to me to tell me it was time to go home. Time to deal with my reluctancy of facing this fear. Time to find time to wear one shoe at the time and feel comfortable in it. Time to reconnect with my roots, whichever they might be.

"Simple Mind, Simple Pleasure"

"Simple Mind, Simple Pleasure"

The pigeon’s totems might seem to you all as just another, dirty animal’s feather, and they are. But the pigeon is also the bird that comes and goes from home, the one often featured in movies and books as the messenger of news that flies across oceans, mountain peaks and deserts to carry an important message. Why should I then ignore the message it’s brining me?  I know these feathers are here to tell me something and I must listen, NOW.

The message the pigeon is delivering to me  is that I am in NEED of a home. And I don’t mean a roof over my head, but a country to grow roots in. A place to myself for me to grow old and happy and possibly have a family and a dog. I just don’t know if this home is in the States or back  in Italy.

I have been lacking a home for 8 years, but it feels like 20. I occasionally go visit my family in Italy, but I no longer feel “at home.”  I am just visiting like  a tourist in my own house, country, my motherland, my birthplace. My warm, sunny Italy became my vacation spot when I stepped foot out of it to come live in the States at 19 hoping to catch the starts in my hand and find myself along the way.

Then is Washington D.C. “home?” Is the place I published my first article the one where I am suppose to live happily ever after? But, it feels so cold and detached to everything I am and I envisioned myself to be. It’s the capital of the U.S. and the hot spot for News Junkies like myself. But is this really where I want to have a family and I want to live forever?

No. I ONLY know this much.

So, is Boulder the home I am dreading? I have lots of friends there. I spent 5 years of my adult life in this little, hippie town. Shall I move back there and will all my fears disappear then? Would my friends cuddle me to a decision?

My heart sinks to the very thought of feeling this lost for my whole life. I can’t bare to silence the voice inside me yelling me to find a home no more.

Am I an Italian living abroad? Or am I an American (without a green card)? Have I been here too long to forget about my Italian roots? Do I even have roots anymore? Or are they simply dry? 

I sometimes feel I only need more soil to feel the roots flourishing again, but then what about my path, the future I envisioned, the “person I want to be?” How can I be all this in Italy? Would I have a hard time re-adjusting to the difference in culture if I go back home or would I live in peace because I am a changed person even in Italy, the country I left because I did not feel like mine?

Is there EVEN a solution to this nationality crisis? 

What I know for now is that Yoga is home. As far as I can do Yoga, I am home because I am close to everything and everyone I love. But this does not help me decide because I can do Yoga just about anywhere in the world…Italy, Washington, Boulder, Tokyo, Sidney or Mysore. 

But, can I do it anywhere with the same smile?

4 thoughts on “What is home and how do I find one?

  1. Max says:

    I’ve found that, for me, it’s not the location but the people. Home is community and family (however one defines that). Through all my residences in recent years I’ve never found a home, but have made do with the communities I”ve been floating through. Good luck in your search.

  2. Paolo Massa says:

    After reading your post, I would like to share with you this quote from the movie “Gone Baby Gone” by Ben Affleck: “I always believed it was the things you don’t choose that makes you who you are: your city, your neighbourhood, your family”.
    Good luck, anyway!

  3. ale says:

    Fede, “Roots-seeking” is not a trivial matter, but it is not important itself, it is a hint for a more-in-depth investigation.
    In fact, just after you’ve started it, you realize that the real search goes well beyond the question “How do I like the place you live in?”…it asks for a consciousness about your original nature.
    I agree with the concept that there’s a difference between questions regarding the ways in which we express our existence and questions regarding the existence itself. A logical consequence of this distinction is the fact that the first group of questions necessarily can be answered only after you’ve solved the second ones. Looking for your roots unveils questions of this second type.
    Of course, one can refuse such a distinction, but then – I tell myself – what remains it is just some “common-sense” answer. Something that sounds like: “Your home is where’s the people you love” which is not a bad answer, but it is just a partial one because, then, I still need to cope with the problem of what Love is which, again, in its turn it is a question that regards the existence itself.
    Common sense derives from instinct, what I hope for you – and for myself – is to shift from instinct to correspondence.

  4. will says:

    Maybe my favorite song is a good starting place.

    “And love is not the easy thing
    Is the only baggage that you can bring
    Love is not the easy thing
    The only baggage you can bring
    Is all that you can’t leave behind”

    And if the darkness is to keep us apart
    And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
    And if your glass heart should crack
    And for a second you turn back
    Oh no, be strong

    Walk on! Walk on!
    What you got, they can’t steal it
    No, they can’t even feel it
    Walk on! Walk on!
    Stay safe tonight

    You’re packing a suitcase for a place
    None of us has been
    A place that has to be believed to be seen
    You could have flown away
    A singing bird in an open cage
    Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

    Walk on! Walk on!
    What you got, they can’t deny it
    Can’t sell it, or buy it
    Walk on! Walk on!
    You stay safe tonight

    And I know it aches
    How your heart it breaks
    You can only take so much
    Walk on! Walk on!

    Hard to know what it is
    If you never had one
    I can’t say where it is
    But I know I’m going
    That’s where the hurt is

    And I know it aches
    And your heart, it breaks
    And you can only take so much
    Walk on!

    You’ve got to leave it behind:

    All that you fashion
    All that you make
    All that you build
    All that you break
    All that you measure
    All that you feel
    All this you can leave behind
    All that you reason, it’s only time
    And I’ll never fill up all I find
    All that you sense
    All that you scheme
    All you dress-up
    All that you’ve seen
    All you create
    All that you wreck
    All that you hate

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