I have a double-sided pendant I wear often. On one side is a picture of my elusive life’s dream. There’s a photo of the Eiffel Tower on it that represents my yearning to live abroad. The other side is that saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Written in plain type. Plainly stated. This necklace dangles the fantasy of what if with the rationality of what is…and never the ‘twain shall meet.
Story of my life, as they say. I have this “unicorn” idea (as a friend said to me) that includes this magical place of where I want to live. It would be near mountains that energize me. It would be near an ocean that brings me peace. It would be near a small city where I can thrive professionally but also close to an international airport where I can throw caution to the wind. That’s the “what if.” And, truthfully, it looks a lot like the place where I live now. Except where I live now has never felt like home though I have lived here for just about half my life.
Knowing the “what if” may never materialize, I have to accept the “what is.”
I am an adult survivor of child abuse and neglect. I say it out loud as I type to concretize the thought and validate my experience. And so flash forward to my search for a home. The idea doesn’t exist. I never had the safety of a home in which a child is supposed to be raised. In a good world, our kids grow up safe, protected and full of promise. In a real world, some do but a lot don’t come close. That idea of place where I belong will never be. The search for it is useless. Because the concept is entirely foreign.
I know this in my rational, pensive mind. I understand it clearly. And yet, my emotions propel the mad cycle of the search for my unicorn. I continue to yearn for a feeling of home that I have never experienced and so cannot replicate. It’s maddening. Just like the double-sided pendant and its two different stories that hang together but never rest on either.