Home is where one feels peace, where one can strip off her daily garb, shed all the masks and hats, take a deep breath, and exhale. It’s where one feels safety and solace, where there is a sense of belonging.
For a very long time in my life, I’d not not known this place, or those feelings. There were houses and apartments, dorm rooms and rented rooms – places in which I resided for periods of time, most in passing. All were places in which to put my things, to ‘live’ and go about the day to day business of existing. None felt like home.
Then, in my 20’s, this man came along and in his presence, I felt something I’d never felt. I felt seen and heard. I wasn’t just desired, I was appreciated as a whole person. He genuinely wanted to know me – the more he knew, the more he wanted to know. I was so drawn to him – I felt a longing for things in this life I’d been so afraid to want and hope for – vulnerable and exposing things, ones which involved great risk. I’d guarded parts of myself to keep from outwardly desiring those things (for fear of hurt and failure), but with him, I couldn’t keep those guards up. He saw right through them anyway.
I jumped in with two feet, but I was unprepared for the risk. I tried like hell to guarantee a happy ending. I tried to control the outcome with expectations and molds opposite of what I’d grown up seeing and experiencing. I tried with all my might to create a perfect place to call home, a life in which I belonged. Until one day, I realized that I’d been the one in my own way. In my attempts, I’d kept myself from seeing what was right in front of me. With M, I’d been home all along. With him, I never needed to wear any masks, I could breathe deeply, and exhale. He has always been my safe place, my solace. With him, I belong.