Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Homes Are Where The Heart Is

I come from a mostly sleepy, slightly rough town on the opposite side of the Mersey River to Liverpool (aka. If you were getting a ferry across the Mersey you'd either start or finish on my side of the water) and our little peninsula is known for having a society in which everybody knows everybody. Growing up, this is actually pretty cool; you meet a lot of people through the friends that you already have, you probably already have a few mates in common with literally everybody your age, and in fact you likely know what kind of clubs they frequent and at least one of their ex's. As a teenager, this is amazing. As an adult? Not so much. Since I left school, my most repeated quote was by far; "I don't know what scares me more, moving away from here or the idea that I never will", but the older I get the clearer it becomes; the idea of not ever leaving here leaves me cold.

Signs and Burgers
(Top-Bottom, L-R: Home Liverpool One, Fat Hippo Jesmond, Almost Famous Liverpool, The Stand Comedy Club Newcastle)

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing notoriously wrong with the Wirral but it just seems too small to contain me, I need something more; for many people this would be London, or New York, but to me they don't seem places to settle down forever - they are playgrounds of excitement for those under thirty. This weekend, most of you will probably know I headed up to Newcastle where my older brother goes to university. He's in his fifth year and so this is a city that I know pretty well, and as cool as Liverpool is, Newcastle is the coolest city I've ever been to. Whilst I was up there, I managed to catch a quick coffee with Rachel from Happy Little Syllables, after a little bit of a chat about the new project we are launching in December, Femtellectual, we got to chatting about our general lives. Whilst chatting about our home lives Rachel said,
"I don't really class Sunderland as my home, Newcastle is." and I didn't even pause in agreeing,
"Yeah, I see myself up here in the future, hopefully. It's the dream."
The weird thing is, until it came out of my mouth, I don't think I realised how true it is. A piece of my heart was left in Newcastle the first time I ever crossed the Tyne Bridge, the first time I ever set foot in the Baltic art gallery, the first time that I ever chowed down food in The Stand Comedy club surrounded by excited customers throwing off excitement ready for the show of the night.

A lot of you will know that I've been looking at going to University (although I remain on the fence about this as gobby equal rights promotor isn't actually an academic course, it turns out.) and it can't be coincidence that Northumbria - with a campus set firmly in the heart of Newcastle - keeps finding it's way back to the forefront of my internet browser. Yet, I felt disloyal admitting this out loud. My heart might have jumped ship at Fenwick's Christmas Window and refused to come home with me, but a part of it will always be here - lodged in freezing January Saturday afternoons sitting in St John's Gardens, in the Blue Planet Aquarium underwater shark tunnel, in the lounge at Panoramic 34 where the view of Liverpool could steal the air from your lungs no matter how many times that you saw it. 

Then it occurred to me; home will never be one singular place. I want to travel too far, and too wide for my roots to be lodged anywhere; whether it be Wirral or Newcastle. Home will be wherever I am, and I hope in the future that involves mountains, beaches, canals, tiny windy streets and big wide open spaces, it will be in Liverpool, Newcastle and my parents house in Spain. Home is where you settle down and make it, and it's all the other places you might have wrongly thought it was in the past, too. Home isn't where the heart is; homes are truly where the heart is.

Have you move away from home? Where do you consider your home to be now?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Getting Through Bad Days

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