Conversation #2


"You know that moment in your life when you realise the house you grew up in isn't really your home any more? All of a sudden, even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone. You'll see one day when you move out; it just sort of happens one day and it's's like you feel homesick for a place that doesn't even exist."

I'm nearly thirty, an age where I'm being encouraged by well-meaning colleagues and acquaintances to jump on the housing ladder. "Get your skates on, girl!" says the middle aged woman who married well and bought her house in 1986. Even my own parents, who had nothing, scraped together enough for us to get an ex-council house on a quiet cul-de-sac down the road from my grandparents. That's where I spent the majority of my childhood. Is that home?

I've lived in 13 houses in 29 years, so home has always been a theoretical place for me, a place where adults live; people with 'real' jobs and enough money for a mortgage and a kettle that matches their toaster. I always felt there was a deadline looming over me. All this moving was like musical chairs and when I hit my 30s, the music stops and I have to stay where I am for the rest of my life. Where I am now: is this home?

I don't know if I've ever felt at home anywhere. During my last stint in Aberdeen, I didn't even finish unpacking. Boxes of books and knick-knacks sat at the foot of my bed, waiting to be loaded into the back of another car. Moving on seemed an inevitability, as it always has been for me. Am I searching for home, or striving to avoid it? Ask me when I turn 30. 

Lauren Aitchison