I find it ironic that on Mental Health Awareness Day, I am writing a review for a book about a mental illness. Little Panic came into my life through an email from a book store. It was a new release, and honestly, the cover was too pretty to ignore. It had to be mine.
A year ago, I had a thousand questions.
How do you define home? Is it where you live? Is it where you love? Is it based on people? How you feel there? Religion? Where your family is? Where you work? The school you go to? Location? There are so many ways that people try to define this abstract concept of home. While this struggle of definition seems unimportant to most groups of people in the world, it is a constant question for college students. They are the ones that this confusion affects. These students have just left their childhood home to live out a new adventure, in all of its terrifying and confusing glory. But is that new place home, or the one that was left behind? The question of home and belonging is a huge issue in the transitional time of young adulthood.
This is the story of some time I spent in the hospital with my family, where I met a woman who might have been named Nancy and how she helped me steal a washcloth.
It has recently occurred to me that we exist outside of our own understanding of ourselves. I am not me in all my depth to my neighbor, or to the person in the striped backpack sitting beside me in class. I am a stranger, with a strange story. Perhaps no story at all.