Home is a feeling? On the concept of home.

Poland

– So, you are not from here, aren’t you? When do you return home?

– In one hour when I’m done with my drink.

– But when do you plan to go back to your real home?

– In one hour when I’m done with my drink.

This is the conversation I have every single day since I moved to Armenia a year ago.

Most of the days, I don’t even think about it anymore. Why do they ask and what do they want to hear. Sometimes I feel like I’m my own answering machine.

Some days it gets me though. Because, you know, I’ve never come to really love the country I was born and raised in. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been trying. I’ve been trying hard. I failed. And I finally made peace with it. I’m not obliged to love any place in the world. I’m not obliged to be preoccupied with someone else’s concepts. What I’m responsible for is to take care about my own life.

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.” – Virginia Woolf

I’ve never really developed a strong sense of belonging. I have grown a severe wanderlust instead. A constant longing for a discovery and a dynamic change. And, last but definately not least, I was raised to believe that the whole world is my home. And that I can just take one suitcase, go to one opposite corner and unpack for some time. As soon as I was old enough, bald enough and able to speak more than one language, I did it. I packed, picked a corner and went there to unpack.
source:Girl Gone International
The corner I picked is not very popular among expats, long-term visitors and nomads of the world. I wish it was though. It got the potential. It’s a beautiful country to live, learn, create and grow. It’s my Armenia. Or wait, is it really?

I was born in a country, where the sense of ethnicity is very strongly based on blood, heritage, cabbage and Christmas carols and there is not much space left for self-declaration. I’m a Pole by blood so no one expected me to declare anything. No one even asked if I like cabbage or enjoy singing Christmas carols. I hate both so I should be glad.
One dark Warsaw night. A window view from the Warsaw apartment I loved the most.
Balcony view from my parent’s summer house. My favorite place in Poland.
Balcony view from my parent’s summer house. My favorite place in Poland.
I was mad instead. I spent couple of fantastic years of my life working with asylum seekers and immigrants supporting their struggles to create a home in Poland. They were Polish to me. They were Polish because they chose Poland and they were patiently learning their lessons on Polish culture, history, language, geography, traditions. Lessons on the good, the bad and the xenophobic. I respected and supported their active decision to come and stay because I was carrying similar dream in my own heart since I proudly graduated from kindergarten.Dreams wait for no one. I didn’t let mine wait long. After my summer affair with Armenia two years ago I decided to give this little landlocked country in South Caucasus a longer try. Or an indefinite try. We celebrated a year together last month. Cheers to us, Armenia. My Armenia. Or wait, is it?

I moved to a country where the sense of ethnicity is very strongly based on blood, tragic history, dolma and the Apostolic Church and, guess what, there is not much space left for self-declarations. I’m a Pole by blood so no one expects me to declare anything. I’m not of Armenian heritage so no one even cares. I was a foreigner, I’m a foreigner and I will be a foreigner, no matter what I do. Even if I learn all the lessons. And I’m expected to go back “home” at some point in the undefined future. Homes wait for no one though. Someone else moves in and that’s okay.

Balcony view from my first apartment in Yereva
Balcony view from my first apartment in Yerevan

Most of the days I don’t even pay attention.

Some days when I’m tired or tipsy, um, or both, I cry all the way home. Home in Yerevan, the only home I have at the moment. I wish I could once belong to some other place than stated in my passport. I wish I could belong to more than once place. I wish people would think outside of the concept of borders, nationalities and all that blues. Why would the place I come from define me more than the experience I had outside? Why couldn’t I just decide for myself where I feel home?

I know I’m naïve.

I wish there was more of people who would be naïve like me.

It would make the earth a place like home.

Or at least it would bring as a step closer to that.

PS The concept of a nation state hasn’t been around since the Big Bang. Don’t get stuck on it. Let me finish my drink, at least.

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