The other day I spent some days at the sea. Not any sea – but the place where I was born. I left it behind when my parents divorced and have only returned for holidays since. This time was different, though. When I got there and took my first deep breath, the fresh salty ocean air must have found a secret pathway to a spot deep, deep within me that had been lying dormant for a good three decades. It touched it, ever so gently. And suddenly I knew: I have to go back. I have to go. HOME.
For a very long time I’ve been carrying around the heavy weight of my past, a story of childhood hurts that I kept telling myself over and over again until it defined me. My dented trust in life’s innate beauty, my need to control and improve whatever and whoever was around me, my lack of playfulness, as it turns out, were once needed ways to ring-fence my vulnerable core from the heavy storms of life. I had become resilient, or at least I thought so.
Two years ago I saw my dad – for the first time in 29 years. Our paths had separated when I was nine years old and my parents got a divorce. It was a sudden end to the life I had known. Before I realized my dad was gone. My mom, my siblings and I moved away to live with our new stepfather. I never heard from my dad again. It took me 29 years to find the courage to write to him.