By Jessica P

Collage by Rachel D
Collage by Rachel D

The immediate association with the word shelter is a place where you live, eat, and sleep. Shelter has another meaning beyond just a home. It can be a hobby or space or movie or TV show or club. Basically, somewhere or something that makes you feel calm, safe, secure, or happy. Hobbies for shelter can be a sport or a collection or even just an activity like writing or drawing. I know that one of the activities for me that relax me is painting. When I am painting or drawing I feel relaxed. A blank canvas for me is like a world of possibilities. I can draw whatever I want and paint whatever I want and at the end I have a picture that I have created.

Another way I feel shelter is when I am reading. When I am reading I am transported to another world. Like many fellow readers, when you read you escape reality and enter a new temporary reality. It can make you wish you were the characters or thank god you are not. It can give you a place to go when life gets in the way. It is a shelter because reading is a way to go to a new place and adopt a new home for a chapter or so. Sometimes after reading I feel calmer, better, and ready to face new challenges life will inevitability throw at myself because of the new perspective.

I, like many others, find comfort in multiple things. My last shelter though is my most important one in my opinion. It may sound cheesy or cliché, but it is my friends and family and the people I love. When I am with my friends, for instance, I feel happy and relaxed because of the comfort they give to me and feel of safety and shelter they bring. Similar to when I am with my family. When I am enjoying myself and having fun with my friends or family, which give me shelter because it makes me feel comfortable as well as gives me something else to think about besides problems in my life.

Shelters don’t last forever. Some things that you used to consider shelters suddenly become stressfully. This is why it is best that we have multiple outlets and try new things. It can help to be exposed to new activities, potential shelters. You shouldn’t hide from your problems or issues in the world, but having a temporary home or shelter is nice because it lets you get away from the problem, relax. When you are finished with painting or playing soccer or watching a movie with your friends then possibly that activity has given you a fresh outlook on the problems that you are facing.


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