a house is only an icon of a home
a house is what we use to represent a home, like an icon for the idea of home. but the icon of a house isn't home itself, like the old rotary phone icon represent the idea of calling, or the floppy disk save icon to show that something will be saved in memory.
but a house isn't a home.
a 'home' is where i can share everything without putting up a mask. it's where i can take off the outside clothes and lie in whatever position while blabbering on about anything. it's when i can end a call whenever, and not feel awkward about transitioning out. it's what i feel when i talk to a close friend, where i’m not scared of being judged or canceled or called out or gaslighted.
a home is somewhere that i go back to and have a point of reference to compare how much i've changed. it doesn’t have to be a house or where i grew up, it could be anything that holds a past version of me — a person, family member, an idea, a piece of writing, a photo, a high school friend.
one of my favorite chinese movies, us and them,1 talks about two friends that live together and end up falling for each other. they share a really rough life in a small apartment in beijing, and the guy has always had aspirations to make money and move out because he wants to support the girl and buy a bigger house for them to live a comfortable life in together. they both work really hard to get by, but they end up breaking up before he fulfills his dreams because she felt like he misunderstood her intentions of being with him. after they break up, he works really hard and becomes a successful indie game developer and buys a house. he goes back to the girl and tells her, 'get back with me, i bought a house.' but she says to that: 'i never wanted a house, i wanted a home.'
i've had many people recently tell me that they reject the idea of going home, of reconnecting with high school friends. 'it feels weird', 'i’ve changed', are really common things i hear. and i agree, i feels weird going home, it's like how i feel going back to school after taking a leave, the environment has stayed the same and i'm the same person but it feels like going into a time capsule again. it feels like i'll be misunderstood as a different identity in the same body. my face looks pretty much the same but i might not relate on the same interests as before. but it's not about staying the same. we all change at different paces, and forgetting high school friends is like walking a trail and erasing the footsteps behind.
during covid, i reached out to high school friends i didn't really talk to again. i reconnected with some of them and it was so scary. it was super awkward at first reaching out, and i got ghosted by many of them, but for the ones i talked to it was so nice hearing their point in the journey and since we've crossed paths at life at some point, it was nice hearing how these similar experiences have informed and shaped their future. many of my high school friends are not my close friends, but its still nice having these points of reference where they knew a past version of me, because they could tell me how much i've changed in a way i'd never be able to myself.
though i didn't physically 'go home' very often this last year, i realized i mentally revisited home through calling my family regularly, catching up with close friends, and reflecting on myself and past versions of me through writing and journaling. these practices kept me grounded in my values and in assessing whether i was steering too far out into making completely misinformed decisions.
a couple of other random related things that i couldn't really thread in smoothly
‘homeless people are not homeless, they're houseless’ – my sister
you can get the largest mansion and it could not feel like home because house != home
i lived in so many houses and not all of them felt like home, but the ones that felt like home made it all worth the troubles of organizing logistics, dealing with messy house governance, and sleepless nights
what i’ve been up to
chris gave me his air fryer and my life has been changed, i now actually cook and its game changing
at the career fair i went to in dc, i just went up to people and asked them how they decided on doing their job and it was actually really helpful just learning how people chose their path over trying to throw my resume everywhere
i’ve been getting much better at drawing through my drawing class and being the worst person in a class feels so nice, it feels like i grow the most when i’m the worst and i want to be in more situations like this — i also joined many kpop open dance classes and being the worst person has also been sofun
i realized i love drawing and dancing / any of the arts because they’re truly meritocratic — the more you do them and revisit them everyday, the better you get. self expression is a byproduct that’s intertwined in rather than something that is trying to fit a mold
i’m in uju anya’s class and it feels interesting to basically have a celebrity as my professor and she’s so funny and unhinged i love her
i started doing weight training and going to the gym really early each morning and it feels really good to be getting stronger each day
i hosted a meetup where i got a very random assortment of friends to come together and be confused together and it was so fun!!! we sat in a circle and helped each other understand why we’re confused :D i want to do more meetups now that i have a large common space in my house
i’ve been having neck pain from traveling once again… but i found a good chiropractor and got a rollout key tray to fix my setup and hoping it’ll get better
i’ll be going to nyc end of september for a couple days!! hmu if you’re around
i got a wing electric bicycle and am looking forward to speeding to campus finally!! i’m so excited to try it out
i’ve literally watched this movie like 10 times at this point