In the past few years, I’ve found myself in a lot of different cities, in various countries, living in different houses. The Queenstown flat, the Jasper cabins, the bungalow in Thailand – all these and more have been places I have lived, with different people, and at the time, they were completely suitable … although they never really felt like home.
Not home in the sense of where I was born and raised: Edmonton will always be my hometown, the place of my roots, full of my family and loved ones, where I started to become who I am today – but it’s been a long time since I’ve really felt that it’s my home, or to be more accurate, where I belong. I can easily understand why this is – no one who loves to travel as much as I do can ever really feel at rest where they started. Whenever I’m in Edmonton, I’m planning for the next adventure, saving my money, anticipating the next move. With each new place I visit, I change (whether a little or a lot) and it defines me in new ways. But for all the places I’ve been, I never felt that I was somewhere I could be for the rest of my life; everywhere felt temporary. I never felt at home, even in places I adored.
Until I moved to Dublin.
I don’t think I really knew that I was looking for a place to call home until I found it, and I don’t think I can even explain how it has hit me so hard that I feel like I belong here. It might have something to do with my relationship with Tommy – a part of me has found a home within him and the life that we have here. I never knew I could be so happy being so domesticated – I go to work, I clean the house, I play with our budgie Steve – even nights spent at home watching TV together have awarded me with a warm happiness that is hard to explain. For the first time, in a long time, I’m where I’m supposed to be.
In a few days I leave Dublin to return to Canada for the first time in 14 months. While I will miss Dublin immensely, I am really looking forward to seeing my family, walking the old streets, and visiting my friends. However, this will be the first time my family picks me up from the airport and doesn’t bring me to see my Grandpa. I imagine his passing will become more real to me once I’m back – sometimes I find myself thinking he will still be there waiting for me. The loss of my Grandfather will be yet another ghost that haunts the streets of the place I was born and raised, changing and shaping me, just like the city itself. Edmonton may no longer be my home, the place where my heart is most at rest, but it will always be my hometown, and that will always be a part of me.
So... goodbye for now, Dublin. I’ll see you soon.