Home is not where you were born,home is where all your attempts to escape cease

                                            – Naguib Mahfouz



We are not the places we have been but the people we have met.

 I have been meaning to write on this for a while but i just could not, but thanks to a long nap fueled by frustration and anger here she is. If there is anything we all look forward to, it is having a place called “HOME”, a place where all our worries are eased simply put where we find our peace, your very own place. 

Home is a word, a warm word and if asked to close your eyes and picture the word home, with eyes closed, the brain pictures a house, balcony, big space painted with your favorite colors and stuff, you get the drift. We often find ourselves searching for pieces of home wherever we go, it is an uneasy feeling to leave the safety of parents and our loved ones, when going to school, moving to another city or living on your own which is basically making a new life and if there is anything associated with the new life, it is excitement and fear. In these moments, bits and pieces of home seem to put us at ease. That is why in the new life we start to build we always take pieces of home with us, these pieces are sometimes, picture frames of our loved ones, air fresheners used at home, a new piece of clothing from them, collectables from friends, even though they are a facetime away you get a feeling of home with material items and that is just how we work. Passing by your neighbor’s kitchen and catching just a whiff of what is cooking can remind you of home. Reaching into things and places to create familiarity in a new and overwhelming environment. It is human nature to build home wherever we go because it is all we know and where we find comfort. When i was younger i always thought when i travelled i will be home sick but when we took family trips i never felt homesick, that was when i felt it for the first time at 12 that home sick does not mean you miss home it meant you missed the people, the people you call home. 

Eventually, after a long time in our new break, the longing to go home eases and now seems like a facade, not what quite what you wanted to hear, hang on here for a second. Here is the good part, we grow, we change just as the places we call home will, dad will change the furniture, mum decides navy blue is not a nice color for the living room and beige will be better, your sister has moved to your room since it is bigger and you are no longer home and moved the rest of your things to her room now used as a store, your friends have moved away just like you have, Baba Soji’s shop is no more and in its place a group of women sell bole and fish and they no longer bring NEPA at 6 but now by 7. When you return to “HOME”, looking for your familiar places and spots of what you knew, what you are truly searching for is the sense of home not your favorite arm rest or your mother’s feet stool to rest your feet now turned a holder for empty butter buckets that you cannot remember. We all want to feel home no matter where we are. As you get older you realize that home is not a place but rather a feeling.

 Home is the feeling of love and security; we all want to experience our new life to the fullest with our loved ones to catch us and hold us on those days that we tear ourselves up. So, we do this instead, we rebuild these homes, tainting each house and city we live in, each apartment we live in we turn into a mini heaven where we call home no matter how short the time is. We curate these spaces to feel like home. When we leave, we realize these places are not home either because home is not temporary. We now find home in beautiful moments, we now find home in our people, our friends, nights out, games night all snuggled in bed, wholly complete with headaches and laughter, tears and heart aches.

Home is your parent’s warm embrace, home cooked meals, the roars of laughter and joy you feel  

Home is the group hugs 

Home is the silly fights, and awkward reconciliation texts after

Home is the time spent with the people you love the most

The most precious thing life gives us is the opportunity to build new families from our friends as life takes us on the rough journey to self-discovery. The places we once thought of as home are just places that hold that feeling of home. I believe this is one of the things we should learn in life. Life can do what it knows how to do best, push, shove or even stab and the human in us want to do only one thing run, run away from it all, the things, work and even the places and the irony is that sometimes it is even the houses we thought as home, but some people come along and from the first meeting, your spirit tells you that home will always be the people that their presence ceases all your problems where you find rest.

And as soon as you find this, you find what some people spend their whole lifetime looking for, a place to call home. Where we grew up will always be with us, they brought us here but now, these people are our homes and we build as we go, even if we travel, settle or move into the unknown so as long as our hearts know, we can find and create those connections that bring us warmth, ease and where all your attempts to escape ceases.  



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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.