This is third post in the series "What is home?". Read posts one and two below.
x x x
So, house is not a home. But what is?
Few years before I met my ex-husband I gave notice at my job where I worked as psychiatric nurse and had great salary and working conditions and moved out from the house I lived in with my parents and brother to another city where I enrolled in college.
Zagreb, where I lived until then, also has psychology studies as a programme on University but I told everyone I did not want to study experimental (Zagreb) but general psychology (Rijeka)...
... But I moved to Rijeka to leave my life behind.
I moved to Rijeka in an effort to change who - no!, not really who but HOW I am. I assumed that mixture of changed environment and acquired psychology knowledge should make for at least adequate combination of healing properties to make me from who I was supposed to be into who I wanted to be.
In Rijeka I rented a room and I lived there from the first day all through 4 years of studies.
It was a room in a big apartment built for a family with servants. Long hallway had two entrances to "service rooms" on the right and toilet and bathroom on the left and at the long end it lead to "real apartment" - kitchen, dining room, living room and two bedrooms. "Real apartment" was locked for us students.
I lived in second service room on right and had intermittent flatmates residing in the first room.
Room had two beds, two small tables, rickety wardrobe, two bedstands and two small bookshelves.
I could live there undisturbed and even have guests spend the night. I could see the sea through my window and hear rustle of bay leaves as I fall asleep. At night I sometimes strolled up my street to see Kvarner gulf, like a bowl of melted silver, reflecting the Moon.
From the first day I arrived there it was home.
It took one non-stick pan and two pots, two cups and two glasses, two spoons, two forks, three knives, cutting board and small electric stove to make it fully functional and to make me totally independent. I cooked, I read, I played PC games and researched, I crafted, I studied and entertained there. I took the train to Zagreb one or two weekends a month (so I wouldn't raise suspicion) but I could hardly wait when I returned home. I even stayed through the summer, when there were no classes and no examinations.
I carried my books and trinkets, little by little (not to rise suspicion), from Zagreb to my Rijeka home.
And it went great for three years.
Last year in college, my fourth year in Rijeka, I cried through because end was closing in so fast. I spent countless nights rumaging through my mind in search of a way to stay in Rijeka. But there wasn't one.
I could only stay if I was willing to tell the truth: "I do not want to return." and hurt my folks with that notion. I could only stay if I found a job so I could support myself but that job itself would mean me telling that I don't want to return. They're not sharpest tools in the shed, they're bigots and hypocrites but they do the best they can given the possibilities. It is my duty to return. It is my duty to keep my mouth shut. I owe them life. Their life is theirs to lead and to govern as they please. There must be a way to coexist.
I felt fucked over with psychology because it taught me how to live but did not lessen the load of responsibility.
So I left my home and went back to my house.