My wonderful sister has just started a new blog. She has a wonderful post about the meaning of home to start off with. It has a lot of good thoughts in it but I did notices that, naturally, it had a quite neurotypical perspective. There are some additional things that are important parts of home to me.Memories are important parts of home for me, but not because they bring back wonderful emotions or helped define who I am, but because I remember exactly how to get to the grocery store in my neighborhood. Yes, I can use a map to get to somewhere new if I really need to. But it is always an exhausting anxiety filled experience for me. I’m not really comfortable going somewhere until I have taken that route a number of times. It is only when I know every turn and every streetview that the trip ceases to feel like an assault on my senses and a trial of whether I’ll have the nerve to keep going.
My sense of home is defined not by a country of a state but in terms of blocks I know. Moving just to another city in the same metropolitan area felt like a big shift that took me years to get used to. There are still certain stores where I still feel more comfortable going to the one nearest my childhood home.
It’s not that people are not important. But people are fascinating and significant in part because they have unplumbed depths, they constantly revealing new things about themselves, doing something different and unexpected. They aren’t the routine things that you can place in a script you are going to use for your day and not think about again. And because I struggle so much with predictability it is the buildings and the streets that outline home for me.