I always enjoy the tales of people, especially fellow Pagans who find enlightenment and peace through travels to destinations that inspire them. I read a lot about people “finding themselves” on such journeys. While I have traveled a bit, I’m not a journeyman. I rather like routine, and traveling is the opposite of that.
However, the double edged sword for me has been that while I love being home, I have often felt a bit trapped at home, feeling that I’m missing out on something because I’m not there. For a good number of years, that “there” was a party, a tavern, or a social event that I attended with my own St. Elmo’s Fire type group of friends.
But that group of friends has disbanded. Some of us stay in touch, but when we see each other, it’s awkward. In the past we bonded over good times and booze. Now we have little in common, so the conversations are forced, often falling back to “remember when we….” There are friends from those days, who I saw nearly everyday back then, whom I haven’t seen in years. So were they true friends? Obviously not. Just people who felt an artificial close bond due to circumstances.
But old habits die hard for some, and I’m one of that “some.” While most of those people from the past were able to move on, I tried my best to hold on to the past, to the party all the time lifestyle. The problem was that most of the time I was by myself, trying to infiltrate the good times of other groups who happened to be at the places I would go. It was unsatisfying, to say the least.
Over the course of the last 13 years, after deciding to embrace Wicca and Paganism, I found a bit of diversion from my desire to keep the “good times” rolling. I looked deeper into life than the depths of a glass or beer bottle. The frequency of “going out” has dwindled. Some of the friends we did hang on to distanced themselves when they discovered I was interested in Wicca or Paganism.
So home became both a comfort and curse. We have a lovely home of many years, and it contains everything to make us happy. Yet, there were times where I felt trapped, those feelings that I was missing something once again bubbling up. So out we would go, trying to capture the fun of the old days, only to realize the next day that it was a futile pursuit.
These days, home represents many things. A comfortable shelter, an entertainment center, a magickal place, a temple of sorts, and a shield from the memories of days gone by that occasionally beckon. It’s a fairly goth place, decor wise. It’s also becoming more of a hippie place, with decluttering and banishment of chemicals for cleaning and body care. Sandalwood and patchouli hangs lightly in the air. Ok, patchouli sometimes hangs a bit more heavily in the air…. Our home, even after 20+ years is always a work in progress. Not construction wise, but because of the attempts to make it into something that staves off the call of yesteryear.
It’s taken me 50 years to become relatively comfortable in my own skin. It took embracements of Wicca, witchcraft, goth and hippie lifestyles, and time, but the transition is largely complete.
My wish for you, dear readers, is that you find that self love far sooner than I. I know there are many younger people that read this, and I’m here to tell you that it’s important to find friends that will last a lifetime, not only situational friends. Learn to really cherish your home. Fill it with items you love. Try not to spend money on decor that will bring you joy for years to come. Trust me, that $50 spice rack you just have to have for your kitchen, will eventually be seen by you as counter clutter, and will end up at Goodwill or a future garage sale. Recycled bottles work much better!
I had always heard the adage that happiness starts at home. It took me an incredibly long time, and bumpy journey to realize that is the absolute truth.
Thanks for reading, and Blessed Be!