What is home? When I was a kid, my answer would have probably been my house, as in the physical place I live in. I mean, when we used to draw houses in the art class, we used to call them ‘ home ‘. As I grew older and began evolving, to be the person I am today, I found home in other places that have influenced me significantly, and I consider myself as a lucky person to have other places that I call home. Let’s take a small tour to explain what does that mean!
My Comfort Zone
On a really bad night, right after having a terrible accident, I was calming myself by repeating to myself “I’m going to Jaz Café tomorrow, I’m having my coffee there tomorrow, I’ll be okay by tomorrow”.
What does that even mean? Am I going crazy? What kind of coffee could I even be thinking about at a time like this right after an accident?
To give you a little context. Jaz is a coffee place where I used to go on a daily basis for six years, but still, what does that even mean? Why would a place and a cup of coffee at that place hold so much power?
To me, Jaz means so much. Picture this: a high school graduate, who entered university, failed some courses, changed university, graduated, had two accidents, whose had three of her very close people pass away, including her grandpa, worked in a couple of places, quitted them all, made some really big life decisions, who’s taken so many courses, had some heartbreaks, and broke some hearts too. Through the years she’s met new people, lost some people, gained a few pounds, lost a few pounds, traveled so many times, but always came back to the same place.
Jaz has seen my different attitudes those times when I was too cool for school when I was discovering my swag attitude, discovering my feminine side. All while sitting in Jaz I’ve gone through different haircuts: from the boy cut, medium-length hair, long hair, oh and hair extensions too! To me, Jaz means a different mindset, an evolving one, different emotions, and so many ‘ who am I? ‘ phases. but the only constant thing Jaz.
Imagine the years passing by, and the same exact person is sitting at the same exact table, with different haircuts, different styles, different faces, but the same exact soul. It’s not even about that, it’s about how I evolved since the first time I sat at this place until the very last time before it closed down. I always ended my day with the same exact way no matter what plans were, I always passed by there to get my coffee even if it was for 10 minutes. So yeah it ended up being a part of me, a part of my day, it was literally my comfort zone.
My Power Zone
When I was five, I used to pack my dresses in a plastic bag and tell my mom that I’m leaving, whenever I got sad. I used to open the door, walk 3 to 4 steps, and right at the moment my mama called me in her very sentimental tone ‘ Yasmina ‘, I’d come back running to her, hug her as if I was away for years, and go back inside.
Somehow when I grew up, I still had the same idea of escaping to other places when everything got bad, but the experience that I’m going to tell you about now was a totally different one.
I traveled abroad all by myself, with the confidence in knowing that I won’t miss home. Which of course did not happen, since I actually consider myself an emotional snowflake. The whole time I was abroad I could not wait for the moment that I finished my course and came back to my house, my family, my friends, the crowded streets, everything!
After a couple of months, I had a really weird feeling, and it got even bigger with time. That feeling was me missing the scent of my very own place abroad, the people’s accent, their songs, my favorite restaurants, their crazy taxi drivers, the streets I used to walk, the grocery shop nearby, and the stationary shop I used to go almost daily. I mean, the memories I had there are unforgettable, I cannot forget the moment I opened my transcript and checked my very last grades on my desk. God, I missed that desk, I used to write motivational notes for myself and stick them to the wall facing that desk to keep me going. It was just my first time to be that independent, to live alone, to have my very own apartment, to be responsible for literally every single detail of my entire life there.
Back to the feeling, yes I missed it there when I came back. I felt that it’s home, but in a different way, in a more powerful way. It’s almost like, this place gave me power in a way that I’ve never experienced before. The good news is, I went there in the past month, and I swear the moment I got off the plane, I smelled the scent of the country, I call it ‘ the power scent ‘, and it felt like I never felt, it felt like my power zone, it felt like home