My Safe Place

Do you have a safe place? A place you know you can go to and your heart will feel just that little more whole?

Mine used to be a person, a feeling, an absolute certainty that my love was matched, and a safety in a place of arms.

Before that, I remember writing in primary school about my cupboard under the stairs, after that it was probably my bed, the ability to hide under the covers and not come out. Now? It’s my car. If I’m having a panic attack or about to break down or just need to get away, my car is my haven. My car is mine, it’s my space, and it can take me away to wherever I want to go, and yet I don’t know if it makes me feel whole because it’s a link to a specific someone. It gives me the ability to run away, the knowledge that if I really wanted to, I could go far far away. But at the same time, everything about it, I just want to share with him.

Girl wearing yellow jumper and scarf standing in forestGirl wearing yellow jumper standing in forestGirl wearing yellow jumper and scarf standing in forestGirl wearing yellow jumper and scarf standing in forest

The first time I drove it, that’s the only person I wanted to share the experience with. Every time I see certain cars, drive certain roads, listen to certain songs, I wish he was there. So maybe my car is my safe place because it’s a connection to him, but for whatever reason, the moment I get into my car I feel a little bit more calm.

The other night I was driving, and it was dark and the most perfect song came on the radio (5AM by Amber Run) and with the lines of the road running past me, I just felt like I could go on forever. Kind of like that part in a film when the song comes on and you see them looking out a car window or a train window, or the beginning of the end credit song, I felt like I was in a film and in that moment everything felt like it was far away. In my car it doesn’t matter who I am or how I feel, it’s my space that I have control over. Last week the battery died on it and I couldn’t drive it to work, and I felt that I had lost control, because my space had been taken away.

In the weeks when I first got the car, I used to get home after work and just sit in it, listening to the radio, and once my neighbour came down to my car to check I was okay, which was slightly mortifying, because how do you explain that you just like sitting in a small space which smells slightly musty, with a steering wheel pressed against your knees?

My whole life I have struggled with feeling homesick for something that I’m not quite sure what I’m missing, and there’s nothing that feels quite as hopeless as feeling really out of place in your own skin, in the place that’s meant to be home. I remember these feelings most vividly whilst being at university and not being sure if I was doing the right thing by sticking to my course. I have always been someone to pin everything on one person, to make one person my home, and that’s probably part of my problem. Some people find comfort in their house, their home, their town, their city, but I have never had that, I’ve never felt at one with where I’m from, and I know at some point soon I need to leave here to figure out if I can find it somewhere else.

Girl wearing yellow jumper and scarf standing in forestGirl wearing yellow jumper and scarf standing in forest

Does anyone else have a safe place?

What I’m wearing:

Jumper : Primark (similar)

Scarf: ASOS (similar)

Jeans: New Look (similar here and here)

Shoes: Primark (similar – i.e. real Vans!)

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