Anna Nugent

What is home? You’ve heard that “home is where your heart is” or maybe where you’re born. Maybe it is where you grew up or where you live now. Some find home in other people or in a feeling. I’m not sure I know exactly what it is, but I know for sure that I’m now more at home than I have ever been.

I think part of that might be that I’ve landed. For the first time in my life I’m just here. Present. I recently had to submit for Garda vetting (that’s like a background check) and included in the application was a list of every address I’ve lived at since birth. I had to ask my mother for help, because though I remember the apartments, duplexes and homes and the situations around living in each place, I couldn’t recollect all of the addresses. In the end I counted 18 (and this may not include temporary accommodation here and there). On average that is 2.3 years per address, however my last apartment was 10 years and my first room in Dublin was 4 years, so there was a time where it was nearly a new address every year. My parents were great when I was younger to keep us in the same schools and with the same friends as we went from place to place, I know it wasn’t an easy feat. So I don’t think I ever looked at where I lived as potentially permanent. I always planned to move out at 18 and then I knew I was likely to move out of Grand Rapids after college and then I thought I’d come back to the States at some point for my career, but I didn’t expect it to be for more than 3 years.

This last move has been different. Though we are not yet in permanent accommodation, I am home. I’m not Irish, but this is where I have come, with my husband to join our friends and colleagues to build a theatre. Theatre is home. Ireland is home. Paul is home. It is interesting, in the same way committing to marriage is interesting – you gain so much by forsaking all others and saying with conviction I do. I do commit to building this dream, here in this place. You don’t know where life will lead, but you are firmly on a path and you can breathe.

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