I’m feeling a bit blank this week. I thought it was the post-holiday fatigue, and a touch of jetlag. But it’s been two days and with the sleepiness and lethargy showing no signs of abating, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s something more to it. As such this entire month has had me repeating my refrain: I’m feeling unsettled. Save for the two trips away, that has been the general feeling I’ve carried around.
Travel always unanchors just a bit. Something about letting go of the regular routine and relaxing means I tend to take a while to slip back to normalcy. But this is my third consecutive time going away and returning, to realise that I still don’t feel that I’m-coming-home feeling when I return to Bangalore. That feeling usually aids the return to normalcy. I feel it only once I’m within the safe space of my home or my parents home. But landing at the airport still leaves me feeling like I’m in transit, and like I have to hop on to a flight to get to Goa or someplace else.
Bangalore still feels like a pitstop. This really bothers me. I’ve been trying to do an assortment of little things to help settle in. Part of it is because I feel I owe it to myself — so much has gone into moving lock, stock and barrel, I feel let down to think that 365 days later, I’m still not quite…well, at home in that truest, deep-down sort of way.
But today, when I woke up in a funk and forced myself to try and potter about the house, settle things, cook a little (it’s domestic stuff that usually helps me find my ground again), that I had a small realisation. It’s when I beat myself up over trying to feel at home, that I end up feeling unsettled.
I thought I was dealing with this transition better than ever before. I am, but just not quite as well as I imagined, perhaps. I’m allowed an off-day in this respect too, I suppose. Maybe I need to stop fighting the unsettledness. Let it be. Let it pass.
It’s funny, when I lived in Goa I had a distinct feeling of belonging there. Despite my bouts of homesickness. I had come to a place of feeling at home in two places, of feeling at home as a state of mind. And everything, I placed so much of this feeling of home on the places I lived in, on the things that make up the idea of home in my head.
Now, that I am back in the original home city, one year on and still pretty rootless, and increasingly feeling less inclined to settle, I’m questioning the idea of home itself. When I think about where home might be as a place, I draw a blank.
Metaphorically, though, I have been feeling plenty at home in my own space, in my body, in my mind and within myself. And maybe this is where the two ideas collide. I’m trying to fit myself into the idea of home as a place, and settle in the old way I knew how. When in reality an alternate kind of homeliness is brewing.
Maybe what I should do is let it go, and count on the beginnings of that new idea of feeling at home. Allow it to blossom. Really lean in to the idea of being that nomad I’ve been feeling like all month, fully dream the dreams (and realise some of them) of vagabondage and see what happens.
Contrary to what any of us expected the hugsband didn’t take a single video on our holiday. Something happened and he decided to focus on the photography for a change. He has been taking some smashing photographs instead, a whole load of them. Determinedly waking up at 5 am to catch the sunrise, and scouting all day for the best vantage points for the sunset, he has had such a full and satisfying holiday. It helped that the first island we were on faced west and the second faced east, and every sunrise and sunset was a completely different colour, like Goa playing with paint. Head over to his Instagram to see a whole host of holiday postcards.