I always wondered about the concept of what it is like to have a real home.
Maybe I never really had one, and I actually hope to have one someday!
Let's be honest about it—I don't think I've ever felt at home somewhere—maybe kind of close to it, but that is not the same as being in a home.
I must admit that, since an early age, I have been affected by many sudden moves due to my parents' life decisions.
I was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and then, after two weeks, I was brought to Italy. That trip on the airplane was one of many, many more to come!
I haven't stopped traveling since then and haven't stopped changing homes—luckily or unfortunately? Stability is something very valuable, and it is priceless, just like love and affection. One child can never have too much of it, really.
Being open about my life or what I have been through is not done with the intention of judging anyone for any wrongdoings. Everyone, I guess, does what they believe is best, according to what they know, what they think is right, and what they have learned. Expressing oneself and telling our story is, in my opinion, not a lack of respect or wrongdoing, although others may think otherwise.
I suppose in Italian culture, where I was raised for most of my life, expressing one's views and beliefs is sometimes considered negatively—as a lack of respect and misconduct.
Honestly, I don't give a damn about it! That's why some people dislike me at times, but I truly don't care anymore. I stopped giving a damn about what people think of me many, many years ago.
We were talking about feeling at home. Let's get back to that, or at least try to.
If they say that home is where the heart is, then it seems I lost my heart a long time ago, somewhere in time and in my life.
I once had a great love; it was my first one, and they say we never forget about it. In fact, I still dream about him at the age of 35, more than 20 years later. I'm no longer in love with him, but I might still have feelings for him and always will, like the most important men in my life.
I mentioned him because, where he was, it was the only place I probably considered home. Its name is Lecco, and that is where I spent the longest time of my life, and that is where my heart was.
Then I started traveling and moving once again after leaving that city, one of the many...
I guess I tried to find a home many times more after Lecco, in the northern part of Italy, but it never felt quite the same. I lost track of friends, time, and space. I lost almost everyone who belonged to that life and time.
I tried to feel at home in different places, yet I could no longer find my heart, and therefore my home. I stayed in other cities longer than planned, but it was never enough to leave my heart there and feel at home.
Boarding school in Cape Town kind of felt like a second home, at least for some time, but then I left from there too, and another home was lost.
I guess, as my Buddhist religion also teaches me, nothing is forever. Everything is impermanent, just like ourselves. We are always evolving, changing, and growing spiritually and physically as we age.
I still dream of having a home. This year, I have moved around four different homes, different cities, and different people. They were not really homes; they were just places I lived in for a while, with my dog always by my side—Etienne, the biggest love of my life.
I look at my life now; I just turned 35, and I'm about to change homes again with my dog. It's always just me and him at the end of the road, on the road once again. I will pack two luggages as lightly as possible. This time, we are flying away. It will be Etienne's first flight at the age of 11—for him, my baby boy.
I still want, as always, to give him the best years of his life. I would like to take him to the beach for walks and runs, just like we used to when he was a baby on the beaches of Lido Island in Venice, Italy.
Getting everything sorted and ready to leave one apartment and move into another.
Hope is not lost—the hope of finding a place to call home is still there. Each time I try, if it fails to become home, I pack up and start again. Eventually and finally, we will arrive somewhere where we are both happy and fulfilled—a place called home.
Apartments and flatmates change, but home is probably only one place—where the heart is.
I'm looking to find my heart again, along with a new place to call home.