Ask Iman: Home doesn't feel like home

Hi Iman,

I’m back home this summer, but home doesn’t feel like home. Any advice on how to deal with feeling out of control?

I completely get where you’re coming from. But, here’s the thing: your hometown is changing and so are you. I love living away from home, but it’s an awful feeling to come back and realize that the streets you used to walk, the school you used to go to and the friends you used to see all the time are a bit different.

And that, dear reader, is completely okay. Growing up is difficult and it hurts to see things change somewhere you grew up, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. You’ve met great friends, you’ve joined cool clubs and you’ve enriched your mind with a university education. You’ve grown! You’ve grown up!

Instead of trying to make your hometown feel homey, take it for what it is: a complex place that changes just like you do. You can’t always be in control of what happens to your surroundings, but you can make the best of it. Getting back into the things you loved to do when you lived at home — like going to your favourite coffee shop and hanging out with those friends you only see four months a year — might make you feel closer to home and who you were when you lived there. Home was home and it is home. It’s just different now since you’ve been away.

I used to feel guilty for feeling like Vancouver was becoming my home. But it’s natural to put down roots in the place where you spend the better part of a year.

Just because home doesn’t feel the same as it used to doesn’t mean that it’s no longer home. Learning that it’s okay to have two or three or four homes that can hold different versions of you as you grow is important. No one said that you can only have one home. You’re constantly growing and changing and so is the world around you.

You're doing great. Keep it up!

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