From the attic of memories ~ Day # 1 (On belonging)

The world needs someone they can admire from a distance; from a very far distance.Michael Bassey Johnson
Image Source: Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

I am a Gemini which makes change an eternal part of my nature. I need a change in life as frequently as one changes their bed-sheets (Guilty as charged!) And by change I mean change in the menu for breakfast and dinner or maybe layout of my living room, the arrangement of my bookshelf or my clothes rack. At times, it goes to the extent of changing the color of walls, the curtains, the decor and such intricate details as well which is a rarity. 

However, the biggest change I have ever desired for has to be the change in cities. Considering how big a move that is, I have successfully managed to do it only six times in my whole life. The last one being a major one because I landed up in a city where I practically knew no one and had no back-up plan. (*gulp!*Yes... it was as impulsive as it sounds.) To be honest, I was tired with the familiarity my old cities of residence had got to offer. Some incidents had left me feeling bitter and I wanted to run away from it all. Run away I did but the heart, always yearned for something familiar.

In all honesty, I did try going back to those cities and stay for a few days. I wanted to see how it feels to be back to familiar turf. To my utter dismay I couldn't recognize either of those cities. They had changed beyond recognition for me. One particular evening, standing at my once-favorite hangout place as I stared at the vastness of the city laid before me, I could sense a choking feeling building up in my chest. This is not what I knew back then. For a moment I could hear my own heart beats as fear engulfed my heart completely. And then, slowly, the deep, gnawing desire for familiarity was back. 

Had I lost it forever? Will I ever find it again? So many questions were racing in my mind.

It is much later that I came to know how baseless my fears were. Familiarity is not always about knowing the unknown, sometimes it is only about comfort. The moment you are comfortable, the surroundings become familiar to you. As we keep growing in life, the definition of comfort keeps changing and hence does the need of familiarity.

Just because something is familiar, doesn't mean it's safe. And just because something feels safe, doesn't mean it's good for you.” ― Brittany Burgunder

Image Source: Business Insider

Even today when on rare occasions I venture out of home in a local train my eyes look out for signs of familiarity. Maybe a fruit vendor or an ice cream parlor owner who would have that glint in his eyes as he would smile at me and nod his head to softly denote a  'Hello!' to show he knows. How strange is the human heart, we run away from things we exactly crave for. From craving for a friend to call my own in the city to craving for a person who just acknowledges my existence - my definition of familiarity has come a long way!

Just like the love for Popsicle as a kid is replaced by love for Ice Tea as a grown up, the feelings for people and places also change. Someone who is a best friend today, may not be so tomorrow. And THAT is okay! It is a part of the growing up process. Like I have always said, we lose people to death and to life. We lose them to life when we grow apart. We don't cease loving or remembering the deceased people likewise, we shouldn't forget the ones we lose to life too. For, it is these memories which bring along a sense of familiarity even when you are amongst complete strangers.

Ending this chain of thoughts with a few lines from my current read :

We believe we are seeking happiness in love, but what we are really after is familiarity. We are looking to re-create, within our adult relationships, the very feelings we knew so well in childhood and which were rarely limited to just tenderness and care. The love most of us will have tasted early on came entwined with other, more destructive dynamics: feelings of wanting to help an adult who was out of control, of being deprived of a parent’s warmth or scared of his or her anger, or of not feeling secure enough to communicate our trickier wishes. 

How logical, then, that we should as adults find ourselves rejecting certain candidates not because they are wrong but because they are a little too right—in the sense of seeming somehow excessively balanced, mature, understanding, and reliable—given that, in our hearts, such rightness feels foreign and unearnt. We chase after more exciting others, not in the belief that life with them will be more harmonious, but out of an unconscious sense that it will be reassuringly familiar in its patterns of frustration.”Alain de Botton (From - The Course of Love)

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