Between Homes

November 3 2009

So I’ll admit it. Right now I want out.

Eight months down the line and I’m having unfamiliar feelings…I think normal people call it homesickness. (In my defence it is coinciding with culture shock bottom out and from having 10 days left to decide whether I want to stay in Japan or not…I’m still a kick ass explorer ok!)

But 10 days. For the past two weeks or so I have been mind achingly pouring over every aspect of my life trying to figure out what my options are, and which one appeals the most. I can honestly say I have no idea. So I thought ok, head or heart…narrow it down. What does my head want? To go forward. I know I couldn’t stay here up this mountain another year. But where? Naturally, when I can’t make a decision I turn to those that know me best, listen to what they say and usually end up doing something different. I get the usual response of ‘follow your heart’. I feel like this advice is worth a try right? Ok, so what does my heart want?…What does my heart want?!…well besides Jason Mraz, a yacht and an oscar…I guess it wants to be happy. But what makes me happy? You know, you’d think this question would be easy and a year ago I’d have thought that too… surrounded by a million little bits and bobs that tickle me pink, in a situation where I knew where I was going and what novel I had to read next, where I was going to buy food from. I was surrounded by people in University, camp, skiing…people who’d grown up with the same fabric of life, seen the same things, knew stuff I knew…it’s easy to be happy. It’s all right there like a giant feast of options, so many people, so many chances to not be alone, to make connections, to fall in love.


But here, here you have to make yourself happy. You have to actively think ‘what is going to rock my world right now?’ You have to build a world out of things you don’t recognise or understand and cling on to the few things you do. Ultimately, you have to think about what you need. Knowing what you need is a tricky one…it usually involves loosing it to establish whether or not it is missed. And boy have I done some loosing while I’ve been here! Intentionally and unintentionally. A while back it was important to cut ties with home, with people from the past and situations that were over. I had to build a new life here and I let things get lost. But now comes the time when life is once again changing direction. The home I have here will fall apart as people leave and move and I am having that horrible realisation that what my Dad says is the truth; ‘nothing lasts forever’. What do you do with that? Well apparently you follow your heart to what makes you happy. So I wrote pages and pages one day of what makes me happy…I’m fairly easily pleased! Once I’d taken out all the independent stuff, the people here and my family, I was pretty much left with ancient history. People and places and situations that I have lost in the last year or so, some that I think will someday return, others that I am not so confident about. Places I can’t return to and situations that exist now only in my mind. But all, at some point, I called home. All of them at sometime were the centre of my world and everything that was true and safe and reliable. Now…now I guess the centre is me…and as different as some may think…I hate being the centre.


And now I am sick for a home that is beyond me. For a home that doesn’t exist. I yearn for a situation that no longer continues or people that have moved on or away. I realise what I need right now is home: the familiar, the comfortable, the safe environment where I can re-charge and make some mind choices whilst the heart is at ease. But where is home? My actual home has changed too and if I’m honest doesn’t appeal to my inner grown-up. No, I need a new home. My own home. One I made myself. I guess it’s a common twenty-something, graduated, first-jobbed feeling to feel in-between homes; suspended between a past that doesn’t want you and a future that doesn’t know you.


Where does that leave me? Back to square one I guess. I mean I’ve made myself really happy here. I’ve made a home. I’ve done it once, I can do it again right? Next time I think I’ll add a few more people into the mix and the odd coffee shop! But it’s tiring to always be your own source of what you need, your own entertainment, your own psychologist, cook, teacher and maid. I think I need a travelling home. I need someone to share the burden with. Someone to help me re-build countless things that ‘never last forever’. So I guess I should follow my heart to a place where I can find that…where on God’s earth is that…I don’t know, perhaps I should just do what I always do…scatter plan like a crazy girl and jump head first into the one that looks the most exciting and hope that somewhere along the way I find someone else whose an in-betweener too…or I could just buy a boat, find Jason and scoop my Oscar!


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About Jessica Dowse

I'm an International journalist/ social commentator/ ski champion/ guitar player/ Spanish speaker/ Kung-fu expert/ninja/superstar/spaceman……in the making…. making being the key word... A bit about me: I am young, energetic and flexible in my dreaming! Jason Mraz is my religion, politics and relationship status. I believe that any problem in life can be solved with a balanced symbiosis of Elton John, Shakespeare and Billy Joel. Some may say this makes me, either very lame, or very naive… I like to think it makes me idealistic…and I think at 24, that’s still ok… I have recently finished an MA at Falmouth University in Cornwall, England in International Journalism. Now I am employed as a video journalist by CRI in Beijing. Dream job! I want to make documentaries, have adventures and travel the world.

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