YEARNING for home.
Definition of Yearn:
Have an intense feeling or longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from
For me, I believe I’m yearning for wanderlust, seeking for connection, for consistent ties to a place I could call home.
As I become more “wordly-wise,” I see myself becoming more scattered, amazed and awed by the infinite opportunities outside, but less focused and confused on picking the right direction. Paradox of choice.
The relationship between home and yearning is a common one. I can use Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows and the characters Mole, Rat, Toad, Badger to identify with.
Mole is a responsible citizen that all of a sudden wanted to abandon his home and his springcleaning duties to go adventuring one day. As he goes on his journey, the feeling of homesickness prevails.
It starts off as “is this it? Or is there more out there?” to “what am I searching for?”
Rat lives a gentle life of hedonism and is confident that his home by the riverbank is the right place to be. And that nothing else is worth exploring. Rat is immune to deeper yearning because he’s already found home.
“I know what I want and I know what I like.” “What else is there to explore when I am perfectly content here”
Toad’s never really fully present with how good he has it and throughout the story is getting into trouble as he’s restlessly seeking external stimulation.
“I’m bored…let’s go onto the next adventure!”
Badger is the “wise hermit” who watches over the lives of others and is comfortable with both the world and his place in it.
“This is life. This is where I am. I’m at peace with it and myself”
Aren’t we all Mole’s, Rat’s, Toad’s, Badger’s at one point in our lives?
So is it valid to say that most people when you are young and naiv yearn to get away from home. It’s too comfortable/boring. I want freedom!
As you age, you yearn to find home again- wherever that may be. Maybe it is returning back home to where you could reminisce when things felt right/were easy/they were taken care of. Homesickness, feeling of belonging
But as you go back you’ve realized that its no longer the same anymore. Home has changed. YOU have changed. The pace is not the same. The familiarity you had once associated with feels “off” as the materials you had accumulated in that past life. The things and even the people that you thought once made up YOU have now seemed detached.
Ex: Me stripping myself from 90% of my possessions in New York. No more ties. Simplicity. Removing excess. I am not my things.
I’m happy to leave New Jersey and moved past my decision to leave my beloved New York. I wanted to go back “home” to Taiwan where I was born and where family is. It took a couple of months for me to realize that the restlessness I blamed on New York’s fast pace was really something I had in my mind/heart that will stay as long as I’m in “explorer” “couchsurfer” mode no matter where I go.
It’s hard to feel “settled down” somewhere when I feel like my roots can detach themselves so easily from one place to the next. But because i’m never fully settled down, when it comes to a hobby or to a new relationship, i have a tendency to just run away when things start to get real or complicated.
It’s like I know I am still a Toad but I’m forcing myself to evolve into Badger! Why can’t I just evolve already…
To yearn is to evaluate your current being and find it wanting/needing for the familiar/unfamiliar. For something you can’t even name. Mole was yearning for adventure and throughout his journey realized he just wanted to go back home…wherever that may be. To yearn is to simultaneously realize that there is more to your life ..and in some aspects that its not enough. Yearning messes with the tempo of your life…in both a good and bad way. It depends on the outcome I guess.
We all may give in to yearning at one point. A yearning for a new adventure. A journey we began because the concept of not leaving would leave you even worse off. The concept of the “what if?” and “I’ll never know if I don’t go out and do it now”
Sometimes I do things just to see how I would react. Saying “yes” opens up more doors. But it’s what you do after that is the real kicker. The extent of involvement. How deep you are committed to something throws you over the edge into “I’m ready to go all in” or “I’m ready to come back home”
Yearning for me was triggered by meeting random strangers and having amazing conversations about worlds unexplored. It’s worth yearning for adventure…but at what cost?
When Mole yearned for adventure and then finally felt it was ready to go home, did he feel content and at ease ?
If a yearner is by nature propelled by inner restlessness, when will they ever stop?
At what point does contentment happen? Some say when people have found “home” in the form of “true love”. But shit, I’m way too cynical for that.
As I change and evolve over time, watching the world in a blur as perspectives shift around me, I hope to be like Badger and just go with it…experience myself as part of this evolving blur.
But I can’t stop asking myself….When am I ready to come “home?” Where is “home?” “Should I stay or should I go?”