During the bus journey home, on my first break from college, i was super nervous. I knew I had missed home terribly and I was very eager to meet everyone. I was afraid seeing my Mum, Dad, sisters and my niece and nephews would reduce me to a hysterical mess. I did not know what it was about home I missed, yet I knew I missed something deeply.
I had not realised the extent to which I was attached to my family and home. Mum and Dad has paid me a visit once, yet that feeling of emptiness remained. I guess I was yearning to go home. Not once did I think I would ever be feeling like this, not once during the heated debates and arguments about going to a college far away from home. My sisters had tried to convince me about considering a college close home, first lovingly using emotional blackmail and then heatedly using logic and reasoning but I had stood my ground. I had picked the college I wanted and I was going there, come hell or high water. I knew if I came home and cried, everyone would nod knowingly and I knew I couldn’t take that, not after the drama I had pulled at home to go to this college.
As I reached home, I saw that my entire family was there to welcome me. Overjoyed to see them all, yet bracing myself I went into the house. I was ready for the onslaught of tears as I hugged my family, but nothing happened. I was just overjoyed, the tears, the hysteria, the breakdown did not happen. As we sat down for dinner I entertained everyone with my college stories. There were loads of laughter and teasing but no regretful tears. I presumed I had misjudged my excitement to meet my family for the tearful longing.
As I said goodnight to my family and retreated to my old room, I was already wording a blog post in my head about how I had stupidly misjudged my emotion. I walked into my room, looked around and went into the bathroom for a quick wash and that’s where it happened. I broke down. I sobbed hysterically. I could not stem my tears. I now understood what it was that I was yearning for. I now understood the vacuum that even a visit from my folks could not fill. I had missed my bedroom and bathroom, I had missed my territory. Mum and Dad and my family, I knew I could count on, but my bathroom and the luxuries that came with it, were fleeting. My college bathroom was a mess. Not only did I have to share it with others, I could not spend infinity in it. I could not talk to the mirror, I could not read a book on the potty, I could not enact scenes from popular movies in the shower. My sacred space up until then, was not my own at college. Laying down on my bed, only made matters worse. Instead of the hard lump of a mattress I had gotten used to in the past couple of months, what greeted me was the familiar softness of home. Everything was clean and mine. The remainder of my night was spent crying over how awesome my room and bathroom was.
Today as my nephews and nieces go off to college and hostel, I always eagerly wait for their first break home, just to see their reaction, just to see if they missed their bathrooms as much as I did. Turns out the bathroom has many forms. My nephew who just came home last night said, the balcony in his apartment on the 12 floor, that overlooks the entire city caused a lump in this throat. Another friend cannot stop gushing over how emotional her reading nook made her. Still another cousin tells me, a step in his backyard where he lounges with his morning coffee, turned him into a crying lil school girl. Guess we all have our bathrooms, only it is not always the bathroom.