The Long Road Home

The Long Road Home

A Story by Rebbie Louise

Haven't posted in ages. I'd love to get some new feedback :)


I have always been liberal about the definition of my home, never sure how to define which places are and aren’t considered home. We all have different homes in our life. In my opinion, these places exist, not just in where we’ve set up a house, but where we’ve truly lived. These places take parts of us, and give us parts of them in return.  And so while travelling back to, arguably, the most important place of my childhood, I began feeling a profound sense of appreciation, whilst simultaneously yearning to be back in that time. I grew up on a country estate, a small cottage at the gate where trees surrounded your every view. When we left, I didn’t think I would ever get to go back, so you can imagine my elation when here it was, an opportunity to walk the path I had lost for so long, a chance to return to the place that, if nothing else, connects me to my most fond memories. The journey was overwhelmingly nostalgic, retracing steps that I had long ago stopped taking. It was all so familiar and yet unsettling in the same breath, the same and still so different: yes, I was returning, but nothing was the same, and I couldn’t rid myself of the undeniable sense that I was going to be disappointed, that I wasn’t returning home, because was it home anymore? Or did I just find solace in calling it home to avoid the admittance that I didn’t feel comfortable where I was now. Was it just easier for me to excuse my own emotions about where I was, by rhyming off some bullshit about belonging somewhere else?

Either way, I couldn’t pretend I wasn’t unsettled. I knew every wind in the road, every lone house and every sign post. Years had passed since I last set eyes on any of it, but some things just aren’t forgotten. I was very aware of my breathing; I always am when I begin spiralling into nervous panic. I know from experience that when I get nervous, I risk stopping breathing altogether, but my efforts to counteract this aren’t always as helpful as I’d like them to be. Focusing too much makes me think more, and thinking more makes me over-think, and over-thinking leads to an increased state of anxiety, and all of this leads to what I was trying to avoid: a panic attack. So as I felt my hands shaking, and a wave of horribly sickening adrenaline waded its way through my bones, I rolled my eyes at my own inability to control my emotions. If you’ve ever had a problem with anxiety, or even just experienced anxiety at all, you’ll understand the how utterly debilitating it feels. Through all of this, though, I avoided any kind of attack. Looking around me, I was reminded that returning to my childhood home should mean the comparison between old and new, the changed and the unchanged. Suddenly, I remembered all that had been learned and accomplished in every moment since I had left this place.  I understood that I had participated, whether consciously or unconsciously, in the creation of the ideology that I was helpless to my own feelings of emotional discomfort. I had built my own sanctuary, pulled myself up and kept on walking through whatever fire had been set for me, I burnt bridges and then swam oceans to save myself, and I wasn’t going to go backwards, not for anything.

When finally, I arrived at the gates of the estate, a sense of homecoming struck me down. I cannot explain to you the amount of time I put into missing that place, or the vast amount of space it occupies within me. A dozen flashbacks came all at once, not pausing for a moment to let me settle. I was returned, yet it wasn’t the same. I wasn’t back in the same place, because I’m not the same person, and coming home isn’t the same when you’re a different person than when you left. Returning made way for renewal, and I felt cleansed. I feel it now, still. As I sit down in this clearing in the forest, the one I spent so much time as a child, I am reconnected with something I thought I had lost, a relief that I will never be able to put into words. It’s like exhaling after holding your breath for a year, relaxing your muscles after stretching, returning home after a long time away. I have always gravitated back here, and now I know why.

© 2015 Rebbie Louise

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Added on March 9, 2015
Last Updated on March 9, 2015
Tags: blog, change, childhood, nostalgia, women writer


Rebbie Louise
Rebbie Louise

Atheist , United Kingdom

I'm Rebbie. I live somewhere in the back of beyond in good old Great Britain. I love to write, anything from poetry to stories. I also love politics, and no that does not make me boring, sly or anyt.. more..