Disclaimer: Obvs I’m not going to tell you my actual address. That’d be hugely irresponsible. Unless you want to send me cake, then by all means, I’m totally yours.
I have called twelve properties home, I’ve pinballed around Essex, to Bedfordshire, to London, and found my way back to Essex once again. Until very recently, I didn’t understand what home was. Apparently it’s not just somewhere you sleep and Blu Tack photos to the walls, where it’s OK to put your feet on the sofa and pick your nose.
Home was never safe or stable, growing up. There was always a looming threat, a red letter, someone banging on the front door, a phone ringing endlessly to no answer. I stopped going to school at the age of eleven because of my mum’s mental illness, I was terrified of leaving her alone. And I ceased to be, I hid from the world, for six years. Fear and shame. Glass bottles scattered across the carpet. Deathly silence and the curtains drawn against life outside.
I was seventeen when I left and slowly, life began and it was OK.
Suffice to say, I have zero photos from that past life.
It’s not always moody sea views and woodland adventures. More often than not, it’s doctors waiting rooms, staring at the walls surrounding my bed or watching Noah’s golden head darting away in the distance. But now I know the outside is there, and the views are only ten minutes away from my front door whenever I want to go and see them.
Home now makes sense. It’s somewhere I can feel safe as opposed to trapped. It’s alright to talk to the neighbours and there’s no faceless figure with a briefcase and a stack of paperwork threatening to take it away from me.
Home is where I can have cake for breakfast, wear Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pyjamas and have stickers covering my face, courtesy of Noah, obvs.. Home is where there’s love. Home is what I miss when I’m not there. And home is wherever he is.