Louis Michael: ‘Home’ is where the growing happens


On 18th November 1996 I came into this world, and the next day I was welcomed into the first home I would ever know. As a blissfully unaware 11oz baby I could never have known that I would go on to spend the next 21 years of my life in that house, beginning my lessons about life and reality and emotion and what it means to be human.

A house is a funny thing as a child. A new mind can only comprehend so much as it expands and grows. Therefore deep in all our memories can be found a time when our childhood homes were our entire worlds, the memories framed from an angle close to the floor as we looked up at the towering ceilings and mysterious glowing screens, and the sweetie cupboard purposefully tucked a thousand miles away at the top of the cabinet. These halcyon days are the remnants of a time when our awareness did not stretch past the four walls of our home, had no need to concern itself with the outside world that stayed firmly outside and was a strictly adult concern.

But as the seasons change so too do we change with them. And as time passes we grow further away from the floor and up to eye level, and even beyond, with those who were once insurmountable giants. And suddenly one day, in some private penny-drop moment, it truly sinks in that somehow you too are an adult, and for better or worse the concerns of the adult world are now all very much concerns of yours.

That realisation changes the shape of your world. Where before the rooms of your house were familiar and cosy now too there seems to lurk a sense of stagnation. The safety and comfort of parental support is as welcome and appreciated as ever, but now it seems to linger on the edge of a desire to feel a little more of the reality of the world with a little less protection.

Eventually we must all take those vital solo steps into a world of independence in order to continue learning new lessons.

Last week that’s exactly what I did, and I can’t wait to see what lessons and experiences are waiting for me out in the big wide worlds.

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