‘I am Home’ is the longest and one of the most personal poems I’ve ever written so I’ve always been reluctant to share it, but here it is anyways. Have a piece of me.
‘I am Home’ is my take on what ‘home’ is to me. I believe that how we see ourselves is created and influenced by others. However, as we get older we realize many things, and sometimes these realizations give us an opportunity to decide how true some of these ‘moulds’ are––whether or not they truly honour us and if not, what we are going to do about it. I’ve come to learn many things about myself through people’s perceptions of me. I see myself through different lenses because society has forced me to look at myself in many ways: I am a woman, I am not white, I am an immigrant, I am Filipino, I am British, and I was raised Catholic. I’ve been told that my name doesn’t sound ‘ethnic’ enough for how I look and that I’m not ‘Asian enough’, but I’m also not ‘Western enough’ either. What do all these things really mean? Where do I fit in? Would I even be accepted ‘fully’ even if I managed to fit in somehow? Not having to doubt your ‘belongingness’ is a privilege, a privilege that many of us thought we had but then society always finds ways to remind us to not get too comfortable.
‘I am Home’ is about the love and acceptance of self and being.
I hope this poem comforts and resonates with a lot of people, especially young, first-generation immigrants and people of colour. I want them to know that their emotions are valid and that they can build a ‘home’ within themselves where they’re at peace and are aware of their worth.
The clips that I used in the film are from a road trip that my family and I took when we went back to visit the motherland in 2016. It’s a day that I hope to never forget.
What is ‘home’ for you?
Therese del Mar is a narrative & visual creator based in Essex / London with a focus on photography; both digital and film.