Every time I go home to my mother’s place in the South, something within me calms down. It’s in the heart of my soul. It’s something in the earth, the wind, and the water. It makes me go quiet, it stops me. It puts me on mute, and it makes me listen to that little voice inside.
I live in Stockholm, a city 620 km (385 miles) from where I grew up. The city is full of noise 24/7, busy people always going somewhere, big buildings lining the streets, hectic traffic jams, and emergency vehicles roaming. Most of the time I love it, because there’s always something to discover. The nature is quite different as well; cliffs by the water, lots of islands, a different kind of forest, and quite a bit colder and darker in the winter time than where I come from.
I grew up on the countryside in a part of the south of Sweden called Österlen. It’s an idyllic place, also known as the Swedish equivalent to Provence, with it’s rolling downs of apple orchards, long white beaches and what not. Once I step out of the house in our tiny village and take a walk I can see village upon village in the distance. The panoramic views liberates me, it’s like I can take deeper breaths when I am there. But why is that?
I always wondered what makes something a home. After all, I was 15 when I moved away from home to go to theatre school. Basically I’ve lived most of my life somewhere else, even though rarely more than 6 months to 3 years at the same place. But there is something more to a home than just being a place where you have a roof on top of your head. It’s where you belong.
Those words are so profoundly big to me.
Where I belong.
And I guess, I haven’t yet found another physical place (house or apartment) that has that meaning to me. I realize that part of this is that I’ve been busy moving from one place to another, always trying to find the physical home before the emotional one. I know, as an effect of my past, I at times ran away from myself – but there is no more running in my life.
A few years back I realized that I, while running, had lost the track of myself. I was like a lost orienteering runner with a map for the wrong course. And instead of getting up and keep on running trying to find my way out, I stopped. I realized that I was lost, and that I couldn’t handle the situation the same way I had handled things before – obviously it hadn’t worked out. So I needed a new way. If you ever been lost in the forest, you know that as soon as you calm down and let go of the fear of being lost, you’ll find a way out.
So I eventually got out of the forest, and I was slowly building my emotional home – which for me is who I want to be for the sake of myself and others, and the people I want to share my wholehearted life with. To do that I needed to keep letting go of limiting beliefs, and of fears that I and the society had put on myself. But most of all, it was about opening up my heart and to truly live my life the only way there was – fearlessly with vulnerability in every aspect. I am still working on all of that, and I guess I might always need to! But now that I have my emotional home in place, I know that one day I will have that physical home too. The home I will share with my own family, where we and our friends will gather around that lovely big wooden dinner table. Where we all belong.
Love, Johanna.Tags: Belong, family, grew up, Home, inspiration, Johanna Ginstmark, motivation, Österlen, personal development, soulful, Stockholm, The bead movement