📝 Journal | What does it feel like to “be home”?

3-year quest to find the sense of true belonging.

so, here you are
too foreign for home
too foreign for here.
never enough for both.

— “Diaspora Blues” by Ijeoma Umebinyuo

The first time I saw that excerpt, it hit me like a rock. Over the past 10 years, I have moved 13 times (5 cities, 2 countries). It’s not considered a lot for my generation, but enough to rob me of the sense of true belonging.

I feel like floating on the water most of the time, nothing is attached or rooted.

Every morning, after I first wake up, my head processes for five seconds on figuring out where I am, geographically, to adjust myself back to reality. I thought I could get used to this unsettled feeling, yet it gets worse as time goes by. It gets to the point that I’m often torn between “everything matters” and “nothing matters.” No matter how much invested I am in anything, I can instantly drop them all together without a second thought or a trace of regret.

So how can I make the next second not meaningless?

For a long time, I tried to solve that internal issue with external matters. I cultivated quality relationships, built my own community, chose exciting (both personal and professional) projects to work on, practiced mindfulness, got comfortable with solitude and vulnerability, exposed myself to new knowledge and followed my curiosity.

Minutes before sunrise on Alishan mountain, it was as peaceful as it could be.

What does it feel like to “be home”?

Some people say it’s the people that make the place feel like home, some say it’s the memories. It is where you are surrounded by whoever or whatever means the most to you. Others define it as a place you can be your true self, a safe and loving haven. If you stay at one place long enough, get more familiar, build your own family and community, you will feel more like home.

I had to be in the most unfamiliar place to find the most intimate matter, my true belonging.

Desperately trying to find the answer, I read so many books and articles, listened to Podcasts and TED talks (I watched “Where is home?” by Pico Iyer five times). I even tried to contemplate on Thich Nhat Hanh’s shortest Dharma Talk, “I have arrived, I am home”. But somehow I still couldn't grasp the gist of all the teachings.

Then in a restroom stall at Chiayi HSR station in Taiwan, the answer unexpectedly came to me.

I finally experienced “be home.”

All thoughts and emotions were detached. All noises were silenced. Time seemed to stretch out to a thousand miles. I was fully with myself, fully in the present. And there's something SO peaceful and transcendent emerging from the inside of my body then melting into the blue sky and warm air. It's not so much about where I came from or were about to head to, but where I was. Everything was light and complete.

What's next?

It's not really a revelation that turned my world upside down or transformed me into an awakened one. I also can't come “home” anytime I want, but it's more accessible now.

But whatever awaits, at least I found “home,” and somehow know how to return to it.

I hope you find yours too 😉

Product Designers by day, Zen practitioner all the time 🧘🏻‍♀️ One mindful moment at a time

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