When home isn’t where your heart is.

home_is_where_the_heart_is_by_pixie_punk-d3edxh7The thought of home evokes different emotions and images for different people, and whether it’s the lingering smell of baked bread or the dull hum of a lawn mower on a Saturday morning, home is subjective.

But when I think of home I’m overwhelmed by a flood of mixed feelings and a blank canvas, with a flurry of images just beyond my line of vision.

Home has always been intangible to me. If home is where the heart is then pieces of my heart are scattered in different countries and, simultaneously, right here in Jordan.

I’ve been thinking of ‘home’ lately because I haven’t been to Cape Town since 2012. When I’m asked the question, “When are you visiting?” a part of me wishes I was there and another part of me is overcome with trepidation by just the thought of being there again.

Don’t get me wrong, Cape Town is wondrous in its beauty; the mountains, the greenery, the beaches. If Cape Town was a person it would have a lilt in its voice and warmth in its smile.  It is not the place but rather the bucket-full of bad memories that are held there, that make me hesitant to go back. Think of those memories as matchsticks and my mind as the matchbox; when put together they’re able to set things ablaze. And sometimes I fear that the very thing that’ll be set alight is my sanity.

Cape Town is a keeper of many memories of mine and when I compare the person I was then to the person I am now, I see my past-self as fragile porcelain hiding behind a façade of bravado. In layman’s terms: trying to hold your shit together whilst the thread of your mind is unraveling.

The last time I was there I was on medication and in therapy. The last time I was there I couldn’t leave the house without swallowing pills. The last time I was there I was a work in progress.

But that was then, and this is now.  I’m not the same person that I was then and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. There are people in Cape Town that my heart will always be attached to [Hi, Mom!] People that I’ve laughed with, cried with, grown with and it is memories of those people and what we’ve been through that made me decide to visit later this year.

If everything comes down to choice, then I choose to let positive thoughts overcome all the negativity because, damnit, I miss my crazy family and the most beautiful city on Earth.

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See you soon, Cape Town.



5 thoughts on “When home isn’t where your heart is.

  1. Tasneem, it’s been a while. This is a wonderful, well written, heart-pouring collection of thoughts on a very deep issue. I share your sentiments without sharing any of your experiences, you and I being who we are. ; ) Glad you are still writing.

  2. Judging from this post, Tasneem, it sounds like you’ve discovered an important truth: Home isn’t where the heart is; not until the heart is where your home is 😉

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