Home. There’s a word that has been on my mind a lot lately. For the past year I have been moving back and forth between the counties of Meath and Galway, which is an experience that can easily leave a person feeling displaced.
But I never once felt like I was away from home. No matter where I was, West/East, Connaught/Leinster, Galway/Meath, I was always home. Can a person have two homes? Because I feel like I do. Meath is where I grew up, it contains the pathways I could walk in my sleep. I learned how to walk there, how to talk, ride a bike- everything I learned up to the age of seventeen I learned there. It’s where my family are, and all my school friends. In Meath, coming from a large, well-known family, I am a part of a community where almost everybody knows my name. I am somebodies daughter, cousin, niece, granddaughter etc. I am somebodies not somebody.
In Galway I am somebody, with no one else associated with me. A freedom which allowed me to make a home all by myself. Meath may be my official home, but Galway has become an important home to me too, because it is something of my own. In Galway, nobody knows my family and I have become more than just one of them “Moriarty’s” or “Gibney’s”.
Today I’m in Galway, and when I got off the bus I couldn’t help but feel like I was home. There is a sense of warm familiarity that follows me as I walk through the streets, a comfort which makes everything else feel foreign. But I know when I travel back to Meath tomorrow I will feel like I’m going home.
I guess home can be anywhere. Home is a place where you feel like you belong, you feel safe there, and are surrounded by people you care about. I can only hope that in the future I will find many more homes, because everyone deserves more than one.