For years, home for me was in my books. I have hundreds of them … my mysteries and sci-fi for pleasant and relaxing escapes, philosophy for the years I studied it and grew into another person, then psychology – that “practical philosophy” that I moved into and that is now my vocation, the spiritual books and books written by inspirational men and women (mostly women), books on mathematics and economics, practical how-to books, art books, yoga books … classics, poetry … . some books are falling apart from use, some nearly new. All have been read and cherished.
From my 20’s onward, my book moved with me, no matter how cumbersome. I’ve sold some for almost nothing when I needed money, then bought them back for 10 times as much when I could. Books served as insulation in some of the small rooms I inhabited, lining the walls with their warmth and welcome.
Every lost book was a personal loss to me, like the loss of a friend. The time I felt the need to downsize and give away a third of my books was really difficult; I tried to find good homes for each one, as I would a cherished pet who needed a different place to thrive and grow.
Then about 6 months ago, I suddenly felt a need for space and room. For the first time, my books felt like they were limiting me, enclosing me, suffocating and isolating me.
Within a week of realizing this, I packed them up and put them all in storage!
And now? Now, I have twice the space I once had, for welcoming friends – human friends – into.
My long-term plan is to find a bigger place to live where I can happily co-exist with my books and friends in collaborative peace. Meantime, home, to me, has become my cherished relationships, and my work.
What is home to you?
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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co