so far from home


Sometimes I wish I could fly

Like a bird up in the sky

Closer to my home


Sometimes I feel like freedom is near

Sometimes I feel like freedom is here

Sometimes I feel like freedom is so near

But we’re so far from home

Van Morrison< Sometimes I feel like a motherless child>


Both home and freedom are tricky topics to discuss even though they seem like they should be relatively simple. Freedom to one person is an infringement on another’s and home is where I say it is, not what you may suggest it is. That said. Let me try this. Home is where you find true freedom. It is where you can be free to be you and do what you want. I have stated in the past (a) the world is thy ship and not thy home and (b) I am a nomad and ‘home’ to me is wherever I have my books (I did so under the guise of this is what offers me stability). But that was a bit shallow of me to suggest because the truth is home is where your genuine self resides. The ‘you’ that exists without any veneer that the external world demands. My books are, at its shallowest, escapism. It permits me to escape the external world’s demands and maybe, at its best, lets me navigate who I am and who I want to be. But this isn’t about me, this is about self, home and freedom.

In my mind, here is where home and freedom has become a trickier proposition for us – the disparity between who we really like to be and who we are in some situations has widened and increased. Here is what I mean. If we are honest, work (business) has always encouraged some specific characteristics whether they be genuine to who we are at our core or not. Tt encourages some ruthless competitiveness (on occasion at minimum) and identifiable confidence (discernable to others) and certainly a large emphasis, continuously, on results and even each business ‘culture’ demands some aspects just in how they suggest going about the business of doing business (and this varies by business). Its kind of the game, and games, one plays to fit in within a business. They are not always the things we naturally would be, or do, when we have the freedom to relax at home. But then, in addition, there is social media. Social media, for most people, is an asymmetrical ‘non relax’ game. What I mean by that is while someone certainly will have some consistency between a Facebook, Instagram, tiktok, whatever, the truth is that the ‘public game’ is played a bit differently on each platform. Each platform, and each ‘tribe’ you interact with on social media tugs at, and out, a specific part of you. It makes who you are when you are free to relax uneven. And this is where I go back to ‘trickier proposition’ thought. Who we are is being constantly pulled at by the environments within which we reside. And I mean constantly. Work is discussing bringing ‘your whole self’ (which is ludicrous), social media discusses things in a brutally one-dimensional context and even social community discusses community cohesiveness in some very ‘us versus them’ narratives. I would suggest before social media having a ‘self-narrative’ that was a bit easier to narrate was, well, a bit easier and home, as I am discussing it, was a bit easier to have.

In part I think I am discussing a bastardized psychological version of “the mirroring hypothesis.” The mirroring hypothesis is that an organization will correspond to the technical patterns of dependency in the work being performed. In other words, for today’s piece, you will begin to mirror the patterns of dependency your ‘self’ is delivering here, there and everywhere. This is also a derivative of McLuhan’s “we shape the tools and the tools shape us.” Let me be clearer. Your home becomes unrecognizable as you are being reshaped by mirroring everything you are doing everywhere.

All of this to circle back to home is where you can be free to be you and do what you want. Given everything I have just written I imagine I would have to suggest home is not a place, but a space in time. What I mean by that is there are moments (or spaces) in time – they can be shorter or longer – in which you are at home with yourself and you have the freedom to be who you are. This is kind of an important thought (I think) because home can be fleeting and in today’s world it can seem incredibly far away sometimes. The world can make our ‘home’, well, less identifiable if we are not careful. We can even kind of forget what that freedom really is and lose sight of what our home truly is. That is, if we are not careful. And I believe having a home, in some sense, is really really important.

Look. Go online and you will have access to, simultaneously, gobs of pieces on personal branding and exactly at the same time gobs of pieces on loss of sense of self (depression, esteem, purpose, etc.). It is like the former is being offered as a solution to the latter. And its not. Home is the solution. We all need a home. A home in which we know who we are, what we are, and can relax and bit all of it and, at its best, with someone who accepts it all. People will suggest authenticity of self, others will speak of being genuine, heck, Shakespeare suggests “be true to thineself”, all I suggest is home. Find your moments of home and visit home as often as you can. The world demands you leave home and even encourages you to stay away from home, I will not suggest you can never leave your home, the world doesn’t work that way, all I suggest is make sure you have a home and know it is your home. Because, in the end, that is where your truest freedom not only resides but offers your touchstone to freedom when you are away. Ponder.

Written by Bruce