Tuesday, August 25, 2009

There's no place like home

I wish I knew what it was like to call a place 'home.'

I turned 38 recently and it's still just a fantasy.

Some years ago, I told my mother I've never felt like I've been home. In her way, she misinterpreted what I was saying to hear 'you were a bad mother and didn't give me a good home.'

Not true. While it wasn't the most nurturing of locations, it was at least safe -- many times too much so -- from the ills of the outside world.

Still, that little three-bedroom bungalow in Antigonish was never a place I felt comfortable.

There was always somewhere else to be . . .

My eldest brother Shane travelled to Strathmore, a bedroom community to Calgary, when he was in Grade 12. He arrived home with the most amazing pictures of spectacular mountains backdropping the then little city.

And I knew right then that I was destined to be here. The big blue sky of the Prairies beckoned to this ocean-born baby and I set a goal to live in Cowtown one day.

The road was longer and more convoluted than I imagined when I was a bright-eyed, optimistic 14-year-old. It took me from Antigonish to Charlottetown through Gander, N.L., and onto Kamloops, B.C.

When Calgary called, I was already jumping -- even though I was leaving behind a boyfriend (FYI: it didn't take him long to get over me) and many close friends.

Six years later, I still haven't figured out how to make Calgary 'home.' It's been a turbulent ride -- getting sucker-punched by life at the worst of times, surfing the waves during the best of times.

And no matter how good the best of times get, I always feel like there's something missing.

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