Eco-feminism: what is it, and why should we care?

When I first came across the term, ‘Eco-feminism’, I thought it was just another highly convoluted buzzword. But upon closer examination, Eco-feminism provides a really interesting perspective on the unique impact environmental issues have upon women, particularly in developing countries.

To some, it may seem particularly absurd to view environmental issues through a feminist lens. Of course, problems of toxic waste, contaminated water, air pollution, world hunger, (to name a few), are not exclusively female issues: they are universal. However, while environmental degradation has an immediate, tangible impact upon everybody, statistics show that it affects a higher percentage of women than men.

What is Eco-feminism?

Eco-feminism is a movement that sees a parallel connection between the destruction of the environment and the oppression of women. Like feminism, Eco-feminism seeks to address inequality and remove existing power structures [patriarchy, hierarchy] that degrade the natural world and disempower women.

The United Nations Environment Programme suggests that, ‘Around the world, environmental conditions impact the lives of women and men in different ways as a result of existing inequalities. Gender roles often create differences in the ways men and women act in relation to the environment, and in the ways men and women are enabled or prevented from acting as agents of environmental change.’

Why should these problems concern feminists?

Eco-feminism seeks to highlight and address the problems of existing patriarchal power structures that seek to dominate, and derive value from, both the earth and women. This isn’t to suggest that men are to blame for all environmental problems. Rather, it proposes that such issues have a unique impact upon women, especially in developing countries.

Globally, women have less socioeconomic power than men and are more likely to experience poverty. In the U.K. alone, women are more likely to be affected by economic fluctuations, the discrepancies in wages and the prices of necessary items, namely sanitary products.

A global view: environmental degradation in developing countries.

A study by BBC News declared that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. In developing countries, much of the disempowerment of women is related to ecological problems.

Greta Gaard suggests that ‘Globally, women produce approximately 80% of the world’s fuel supplies, and for this reason women are most severely affected by food and fuel shortages and the pollution of water sources.’

Women in Third World countries are dependent upon the natural environment for their livelihood and therefore have a unique relationship to the effects of its degradation. In most households, it is the women who are the primary care-givers for their children, and the gatherers of food and water.

Often young girls will walk miles daily to collect water with their mothers, making them less likely to attend school. In urban areas, women from low-income households are exploited for labour in factories where they are exposed to harsh chemicals and contamination.

Furthermore, the inadequacy, or indeed the absence, of supplies of contraception, protection against STDs and sanitary products uniquely contribute to the hardship and disempowerment of women in developing countries.  The female body thus becomes a means by which women are degraded physically, socially and economically. 

Like the world around us, women are still intrinsically viewed as commodities and regarded as a means of production and profitability. Research suggests that in developing countries, women particularly struggle to defend their reproductive and sexual rights. Women are used in the same way as natural resources: they are taken and devastated.

In the case of natural disasters, the death toll is higher for women than men in societies with a greater gender disparity. An OXFAM report after the 2004 Tsunami found that the number of men who survived outnumbered women by almost 3:1 in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India. Factors such as the inability to swim due to inadequate education, and the lack of ownership of technology, [women are often denied economic possession of necessities such as mobile phones], make women even more vulnerable to the devastating effects of natural disasters.

Why should we care about eco-feminism?

  • Do you care about the environment?
  • Do you wish for world equality, where women, men and nature are treated with equal respect?
  • Do you wish for more women to be in positions of power?
  • Do you care about women in other parts of the world?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Eco-feminism is the movement for you.

The bottom line

Ecofeminism does not limit its scope to feminist issues. It highlights the deep and insidious effects of a hierarchical and exploitative society and gives credence to the legitimate demands of poor nations. In its mission to challenge power hierarchies, Eco-feminism seeks to involve women in the efforts to mitigate environmental issues and thus address their disempowerment in more ways than one.

Ultimately, Eco-feminism sanctions women’s unique vulnerability to environmental issues, particularly in developing countries, and advocates their voices as an integral part of the battle against climate change.

 

GET INVOLVED

  • Check out the following websites for a list of charities that provide services to support and empower women across the world:
  • Ending period poverty. Support UK based charities such as ‘Always’ and ‘Action Aid’ that are dedicated to providing women with the necessary materials for menstruation. You can find many places in public toilets to donate sanitary products.

 

Resources

Will We Ever Switch Them off?

I’d love to see what would happen if all mobile phones went dead. 

I’m sat in a cafe contemplating this as I observe an awkward scene. People watching is one of life’s virtues, especially when hidden behind a laptop screen. One quickly learns the strategies. Leaning over and craning your neck to eavesdrop in conversation is not entirely subtle. The trick is in the eyes. Learning to quickly divert your gaze from the scene in front of you to the screen of your laptop is the first step towards successful snooping.

I’m watching a couple on a date. It’s going well. They’ve so far managed to order their coffee, and say a few words to each other. Ten minutes later, these words still hang in the air like a bad smell. No progression has been made. Hands reach to cradle their phones. One of them takes a call. The other nonchalantly drinks her coffee, gazing round the room as if to pluck a conversation topic out of the caffeine-fuelled atmosphere.

This is just painful.

Phones provide a justifiable excuse to not speak to each other, a handy tactic when on an awkward date. As young people, we are protected from having to deal with social interaction only by our common propensity to pick up our mobiles and immerse ourselves in Facebook mid-conversation. We just don’t know how to communicate anymore.

Everyone of course talks about the ‘millennial’ generation with contempt. But ultimately, our critics should just feel sorry for us. We are rude and obnoxious; ruthless in our attempts to capture the perfect photo to upload to our social media sites. ‘Likes’ feed our egos more than real-life compliments. GIFS and Memes provide humour where ours has lapsed. We are the avocado-loving, cafe-brunching, news-munching millennials who know nothing of times gone by. We exist in a vacuum, bombarded by the constant flow of information, of which we can’t escape. Armed with a step-by-step account on social media of how we fill our days, our generation are leaving behind us a technological footprint of triviality. Is this all we will have to show for our posterity?

The need to constantly document our lives, however, reveals something a lot more sinister about current social interaction.

Take the prior mentioned date as a case in point. Meeting somebody in the flesh requires a lot more cognitive effort, particularly as their choice to position themselves opposite each other makes them more exposed. In this instance, they have nowhere to hide. Queue the picking up of the mobile phone.

Interacting with a computer is entirely different. A computer does not care about your feelings. When online, one does not have to labour to understand another’s body language, or negotiate with social cues. Instead, our emotions become archetypically summarised in emojis. Virtual interaction removes feelings and emotions. We are, as the world fears, turning ourselves into beings void of the aspects that make us human.

Our self-esteem becomes based on the acquisition, essentially, of strangers who favour our content. Our ‘supposed’ selves, the ones we can perfectly package up and present to our gang of worthy followers online, somehow become more desirable than our actual selves. We come to envy others who are equally as inauthentic. While we know this, we can’t seem to shake the feeling that millions of others out there are prettier, thinner, smarter, richer or just generally more content than we are.

Like everything else in a capitalist society, our sense of self-worth becomes based on acquisition. ‘Likes’, ‘retweets’, ‘favourites’ are currency: we acquire and exchange.

A further frightening aspect of all this is that the more we reveal, the more data we contribute. Companies feed off our online presence, using information about us to tailor their advertisements to our interests, and consequently contribute to this atmosphere of acquisition. I find myself frequently screaming ‘HOW DID YOU KNOW?’ inside my head when my most recent searches on Google appear in my Instagram and Facebook feeds, as if a satellite had somehow supplanted my brain.

It is as if I am competing against a machine that seems to know me better than I know myself. My iPhone can anticipate which emojis I would like to use based on the words I have tapped into a message. It knows all the locations I’ve been in … ever. It knows my exact distance home, the temperature in my room, where I am going to be at certain dates and times and locations. Perhaps at one point it will grow a pair of arms, reach for a stethoscope and conclude after seconds of analysing my heartbeat that I am actually nearly dead prior to my morning coffee.

And yet, what this all essentially boils down to is our generation’s preoccupation with insignificance. We live in a network of spies and informants. Ads are tailored to us based on personal information. Molly from Blackpool knows you’re spending a weekend in Tenerife because of the hashtag you used. Google stalks you at every turn based on your internet searches. Every drip of news is as necessary as the blood flowing through our veins.

It would not surprise me if soon we were diagnosing technological illnesses based on our anxiety to constantly be informed. Perhaps medication will have to be administered to those of us who are addicted to our phones. All joking aside, a period of weaning ourselves off from technology is overdue.

I am actively trying to cut down my time spent on the web before my brain disintegrates. When I find myself having to force myself to read a book – something I have known and loved ever since I can remember – I remind myself of how much I have attuned my brain to autopilot. It’s high time we saved ourselves from becoming machines.

It’s that time again: re-entering the job market

Perhaps it’s a dangerous thought, but I have to ask myself daily, ‘could I be anymore content?’ I get to spend my days walking the most beautiful streets, hanging out in cafes or parks; reading, writing, contemplating. I have time to myself. Time to enjoy not rushing from one place to the next. And yet, I have the overwhelming feeling that this is the most free I will ever be. 

It’s about that time again where I have to think about the direction that my life is taking me in. In two months I will be unemployed, again. I will have to face the depressing graduate landscape, where every organisation brandishes a banner reading ‘No room at the inn.’ I will have to face those feelings of inadequacy that I’ve dispensed of since being in Berlin. Reapplying for jobs means reentering the Rat race.

Yesterday I started going over my CV again, scolding myself for the fact that I haven’t spent a year as a journalist, civil servant, lawyer-in-training, or any of these other professional careers that I used to fancy for myself. I slept last night, badly, thinking about the nine-to-five desk job calling me, its wood scratching my fingernails and splintering my skin as I resist its pull. I’m holding onto Berlin and what it has symbolised for me personally – freedom, stillness, balance – with dear life. I fear that fighting the hoards of graduates just like myself for a single job will only derail me.

Not everyone can function on a hamster-wheel. While I have often tried to imagine myself climbing up the career ladder to reach the pot of gold of success, I’ve realised that I just can’t. I don’t have the stamina. So if not nine-to-five, if not working in administration or management or business, what else is there for me? The job market in England rendered me tired and disillusioned. I felt unskilled, worthless, betrayed by a system that propagates education as the sole ticket to success. I felt like I had nothing to offer any job, creative or otherwise.

For years, I have situated my future life in London. There’s a reason why this city is one of the most desired places to visit in the world. It’s vibrant, fast-paced, full of opportunity. It attracts the young and enterprising with its strong sense of individualism. It weaves each person into a romantic narrative of advancement: ‘young entrepreneur seeking success in the big city.’ It makes you feel part of a whole – a super-charged machine at the forefront of world advancement.

But its atmosphere is also oppressive. Floods of people get on and off the tube at ridiculous hours of the day, music booming through their headphones. Melody becomes a fugue to accompany the bitter march to their desks. Coffee becomes the taste in everyone’s mouths. Exhaustion permeates through office walls. People often seem tired, sickly. We are here for one purpose and one purpose only: to work, and to stay alive.

Perhaps this sounds dramatic. Perhaps I sound work-shy. But really, I am just trying to understand how we got here.

Coming to Germany has been a valuable experience in how other countries live. While Berlin, as a thriving economic capital of business and commerce, obviously has aspects of its working environment that are similar to London, it seems a little more free. A lot of my friends work full-time, but they have contracts that offer more flexible, sociable hours. It’s more common than not that I meet people who are freelance, who work several different jobs trying to pursue creative careers, or who work part-time and are still able to cover their bills. And this is deemed ok – normal in fact. Berlin’s prices, while rising, are significantly cheaper than London. People have disposable cash to build livelihoods. Artistic jobs are as highly prized and sought after as economic, or business-related ones. Naively, I suggest that Berliners have cracked it. People know how to enjoy working-life without the blood, sweat and tears.

For the first time, I’m realising that a life like this is entirely possible, and more importantly, justifiable. I no longer want to have to explain to myself and others that I don’t want to live my life enslaved by a desk. Despite the odds, I can’t help but suggest that there must be something more than this.

It seems that modern people have emptied themselves of their dreams. People frequently snigger at my desires to become a writer, or even to work in a job that allows me to practice creativity.

In an ideal world, I will have a job that’s varied and enjoyable, that affords me structure, discipline, the option to advance, but also freedom of mind and creativity. It’s about time that I returned to the job market, not to skin myself alive and plague my thoughts with encroaching feelings of fear or inadequacy, but to challenge myself to find a life that I want to live.

It is possible. I want to believe that this is so.

Writer’s Block – The Affliction of the Creative

It’s  five am. Late. Or maybe early. I’m sat at my desk in the dry light of the approaching morn, writing. I’m a walking cliche, I know. The wannabe desperate nomad who seeks solace from the oppressive city in a battered old notepad and pen – thoughts of great poets and her own shaky verses churning in her mind.

But while I sit and stare at the page, no words come out. It’s in moments like these where one contemplates the fleeting nature of ideas. Here I am, stressed and useless, probably (definitely) tired, just thinking about how best to manufacture inspiration. Thoughts and ideas always seem to ebb and flow. Emotions, events going on in my life, a busy schedule, all feed into my ability, or indeed, my inability, to write.

Biting my pen at the end so that the ink swells into large globules on the page, I give up. I go back to bed. I remind myself that I am not the Romantic poet who wakes at dawn to hear the birdsong, the whistling wind, the chords of the Aeolian harp, nor am I the late-night genius working by candlelight to produce his next masterpiece for the court of Henry VIII. My mind races and doesn’t deliver. Especially at five am.

The next day I’m running errands around the centre of Berlin, looking at everything with an author’s zeal, inhaling intricate details of everything I pass to aid my woeful attempt at writing. I gaze at the contours of the buildings before me, some almost beautiful in their concrete majesty. I look to the sky, incandescent in the waning light of the afternoon and to the wily shapes of trees reflected in the river. Is this poetry, or just plain bullshit? I laugh at myself, clutching my books tightly as if to impress their words onto my tired hands and down the nib of my pen, and at the failure of my corny attempt to write something that matters. Darkness approaches, the streets fill up and inspiration has fled.

Writer’s block – the affliction of the creative. You berate yourself for failing. You berate yourself for trying.

Sometimes you just cannot force it. 

We’re taught in life to banish feelings of self-doubt as a hindrance to progress. Yet, here I am, yielding to self-doubt and making up words in the process. I have produced little else but a personal essay composed of self-depreciation, but I have somehow managed to string coherent sentences together.

Writing is about identity. I haven’t quite found mine yet. A personal essayist I could perhaps say, or just someone that rambles on in the direction of something vaguely meaningful. My writing is inescapably inflected by my own experiences. My thoughts and opinions seem to infiltrate my sentences at any available moment, no matter what the topic. A personal essayist, I could say, or just a plain narcissist?

In later years when I am more wizened with age, perhaps my writing will take a different form. Perhaps I will always be overthrown by too many ideas rather than too few. A good writer understands the limits of his or her understanding of the world. The most important lesson, I think, is to stay curious. This brief essay has been nothing if not a practical exercise of self doubt, but by allowing my mind to wander, I reminded myself of my motto: ‘ideas flourish at the hands of the uninhibited.’ Trusting your own process, your own curiosity, can, at times, pay off.

And on that note, in a further absence of ideas, I leave you with a friendly platitude from Sir Philip Sidney on the subject of lapsed inspiration:

‘Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:

‘Fool!’ said my muse to me, ‘look in thy heart, and write.’

– Astrophel and Stella 1. 13-14

Re-writing the self: Thoughts on memory

‘When it rains, think of us as we walk under dripping trees or through small rooms lit only by storm’ – Fugitive Pieces, Anne Michaels.

One of my earliest memories is of being lost in a field near my family home in the country. It was Summertime. I remember the heat and the tall grass looming over me. Small as I was I could see very little, only the sky and the heavy overhang from the leaves of the trees that beckoned me into the forest.

I remember being aware that I was lost – that is, I knew I had wandered away from my childminder in a game of hide and seek and that she hadn’t yet found me – but the idea of being missing wasn’t yet a concept for me. I don’t remember feeling distress, only wonder at this new mellifluous world of the neighbouring field that I hadn’t yet trespassed. I remember my name being called, echoes circling around me, but the length of the grass obscured me from sight so that I was unable to be found.

Perhaps it is a condition of early memories to resemble an ethereal, almost dreamlike quality due to the limits of our perception at that time. This memory of mine is always veiled in a kind of golden haze, either obscured by time or romanticised by my mind. I see shapes, I remember colours. Golds and greens and yellows. I remember the cold relief of wading through the stream. I remember the unsteady path: the soil; the roots that clawed at my ankles. I remember the sensation of being lost but not my emotional response to it. I just remember happiness. A child charmed by curiosity.

While the likelihood is that I entered into a panic and ran through the woods in alarm once I realised I had strayed too far, my mind wants to remember the positive perception I had of my surroundings. It wants childlike inquisitiveness to take precedence over feelings of fear.

It wants to reconcile fragments of memory into a coherent, happy narrative. While our logical minds want to preserve integrity to the facts, there is always a part of us that wants to tell a good story.

Virginia Woolf speaks of the associative potency of memory in her autobiographical essay ‘A Sketch of the Past.’ She tells us that one of her earliest memories was looking at the patterns of flowers on her mother’s dress, as she lay in her lap on a train journey to St. Ives. This is how Woolf always remembered her.

In memory, we are all compelled to understand our lives through narrative and symbolism.

Like the flowers on the dress of Woolf’s mother, I relate my memory to a sensorium of warmth and playfulness, represented by my childlike experience of nature. My memory conveniently chooses to omit my alarm of being lost and instead reframes it as a pleasant adventure.

In Orlando, Woolf acknowledges how our subconscious minds play a part in obscuring memory. She writes, ‘Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither.’ Memories are set against a backdrop of narrative that we construct for ourselves. When we look back into the past, we view events through a prism. Integrity to facts falters in our intrinsic desire to tell a more desirable story.

Memory is a seamstress. It weaves together representations of the past into a coherent timeline: a kaleidoscope of images, objects, fragments of conversations, emotions.

It is a mediator between past and present. It preserves connectivity between our present and past selves. More importantly, it situates us in time and place. We make sense of ourselves through the narratives we choose to construct.

Ultimately, we are creators; the seamstresses of our own lives. We subconsciously distort memory, re-fashion narratives, re-write the self and consequently inform the present. We grow by seeing our present selves reflected in images of the past.

Memories, while unreliable, allow us to understand ourselves, our current place in the world. They make artists of us all.

World Down’s Syndrome Day: my brother, Joey.

It’s World Down’s Syndrome Day, and I wanted to write something to honour my younger brother Joseph and raise awareness for his cause.

As of 2018, a new advanced test for Down’s Syndrome, (Non-invasive prenatal testing) will be rolled out to about 10,000 women per year who are considered to have a higher likelihood of giving birth to a baby with this condition. In places like Iceland, 100% of babies diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome are aborted. This increase in screening will mean that fewer children like Joseph will have a chance to live.

Of course, there are conditions where a woman cannot, for valid reasons, bring a child with Down’s Syndrome into the world, and in some cases this is kinder. But a child with Down’s Syndrome is not suffering with a chronic disease. These children aren’t sickly. They require help and support more so than other children as they cannot learn as fast as we can, but many grow up to have stable jobs and take care of themselves.

I think it’s important to debunk the myth that scientists, such as Richard Dawkins, propose on the subject of this condition. Dawkins would have us think that children with Down’s Syndrome are miserable and ailing; existing only to suffer. Dawkins publicly told a woman on Twitter that if she was knowingly pregnant with a child with Down’s syndrome then the only ‘right’ thing to do would be to, ‘Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have a choice.’

Immoral.

What Dawkins proposes, to me, is eugenics. He propagates a vision that humans are here solely to reproduce and to, consequently, advance the human race. A simple matter of evolution. He renders people with Down’s Syndrome as entirely dispensable, given that their function as a human, in Dawkins’ eyes, is void.

Richard-Dawkins-cap

People with Down’s Syndrome cannot contribute to the economy or the perpetuation of the human race, but they can lead fulfilling lives. Granted, there are couples who cannot bring a child with Down’s Syndrome into the world for viable reasons but this is not one of them.

I could tell you so many reasons as to why my brother Joseph, known to us as Joey, has been nothing else if not a gift to my family. He is a person who wakes up every day and is enchanted by life. He gives love and joy back to a world that can be unkind.

Joey is a sentient human being, not an economic parasite. My argument, however, doesn’t make sense in scientific Dawkinsian terms. It’s emotional, not logical. Emotionally biased and not at all objective.

Those who meet Joey tend to walk away from the encounter as slightly more enriched individuals. Among his very many quirks of personality, he is entirely charming and extremely good company. He is known at Gloucester Cathedral, where he goes to the children’s church every Sunday, for enthusiastically singing the hymns and shouting out random words like ‘marmite’ and ‘ogan’ (a hilarious mix of ‘organ’ and ‘ogre’), just to lighten the mood. At my great aunt’s funeral, Joey decided the appropriate farewell was ‘Merry Christmas.’ And then there are his nicknames. my dad is often referred to by Joey as ‘big, baldy head’ which has since become a term of endearment.

If I ask Joey to do something, he sighs and rolls his eyes like any typical teenager would. He grunts every time he is asked to go for a bath. When he’s told to turn down his music in his bedroom, he’ll wait until you’ve left the room before cranking it up even louder.

Joey has a smile that leads to laughter so contagious that the hardest of hearts would melt in repose. He is cheeky and mischievous – that is, when he can be bothered. Joey doesn’t really stand, he reclines. He doesn’t walk, but shuffles. He knows no urgency. He moves everywhere at a snail’s pace. A big bundle of joy that you can’t move for the life of you.

Ultimately, Joey doesn’t really care what you think. If he wants to belch in public, he will. If he detects a tone of condescension in your voice, he’ll tell you, quite simply, to p*** off. He knows no bounds. He is completely uninhibited by the superficial social graces that we all perform and that’s what gives him his individuality.

Joey understands a lot more than he can say. He’s receptive to the troubles of those around him and while he can’t offer words, he will offer comfort in gesture. There has been many a time where I have sat and sobbed, and he has rubbed my back and put his hands in mine. An unspoken understanding.

Unlike the rest of us, Joey has no self-pity. He does not understand what it is to be unkind, selfish and resentful. He views every day with a sense of curiosity and wonder and appreciates the small things. The ‘squashed eggs’ (scotch eggs) he looks forward to having every week on a Sunday are symbolic of this ability to find joy in triviality.

To be around Joey is a wholly immersive experience. He will smother you with love and affection and in the same breath remind you that you are fat and bald.

If you distil life down to its brutal essence – the matters of life, death, reproduction – then you get an argument like Dawkins’, one that is ill-informed, reductionist and lacking in humanity.

Joey performs the same function as we all seek to do: to love and to be loved. He triumphs in life simply because he is entirely unashamed of who he is. We could all learn a thing or two from a person like him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding my Balance: My Changing Concept of ‘Home’

Home to me is the sensation of peace on a Sunday morning; the sound of the cathedral bells tolling for morning service; the comforting memory of my mum’s bangles jingling on her wrists; the raucous sound of my brothers running up and down the stairs; my dad elegantly playing the piano and then pausing to slowly pace across the wooden floorboards in the wake of a new idea.

The word ‘home’ can mean any number of things to a person. One of the first questions we ask people when we first meet them is ‘Where do you live?’, or ‘Where do you come from?’ Home is our conception of self, the foundation of our identity. Feeling like you have an origin is an essential part of human nature. We are lone wolves, but we will always be part of a pack.

At five am this morning, I woke up contemplating the Western definition of ‘home’. We associate home with comfort, stability, the familiar. But what if home can be the new and unfamiliar?

Before I moved away, home was a place almost too comfortable to motivate me to make a change. Feeling grounded did little to shake off my feelings of despondency. But what if home is meant to be somewhere that challenges you, somewhere that makes you feel unsafe in order to hurl you out into the unknown? What if home can be mobile, transient, ever-changing?

Over time, we cultivate our lives in many different homes. We shed one shell and adopt another.

It’s been three weeks since I moved to Berlin and already my concept of home has changed. I have found home in myself: my passions, my interests, my own company. Home is still a sanctuary, but it has been constructed out of my own being. Home is no longer a physical place, but a concept.

Home is a place to be content, even if you are far away from those you love. Home for me is where I spend time alone, cultivate ideas, immerse myself in culture, literature, the things I love; learn to speak to myself more kindly, reward myself for small personal triumphs. For now, home is within myself and it’s a powerful feeling.

Home doesn’t just have to be with the familiar. Establishing home in yourself actually involves wading through tides of the unfamiliar. It’s surprising how much we conceal from ourselves.

Making home within yourself involves opening the floodgates to emotion. One cannot know oneself without first knowing how to feel.

Home can be any number of places, but it’s comforts are defined by simple, blissful moments that remind you of where you belong. It is in your own concept of home where the fragments of your life are unified. You will leave parts of you in different places and with different people, but home reminds you of what is absolutely true and integral to your life and character.

Home is the place where my facades are shed. I am entirely myself. Imperfect, flawed, but me.

Home is substantial, safe, secure. Places are home. People are home. You, your mind, your body, is home.