The moment you find a place you feel you belong is a wonderful thing. Everyone deserves a place where they feel truly relaxed, comfortable and able to be themselves. For this year's Your Stories project, we are asking the people of Scotland to tell us their true life tales of finding their place.
Where is the place you feel most you? How did you find it, and how did you know when you got there? Is it a landscape, a building, a group of people or a language? Wherever your place is, we want to hear your story.
Warm-up: Daily places
Think of the places you see day to day. This could be shops or buildings you travel past on a regular journey. It could be the parts of your home that you travel through whilst carrying out your daily routine. It could be a walk you take in your spare time or the space in which you carry out rituals such as brushing your teeth or getting ready for work.
Think of one or more of these places and try to write down all the things you remember about them. What does this place look like? How does it make you feel? Think deeply of places you pass through and try to capture them with your words. The next time you pass one of these locations, try and see it with fresh eyes.
Scroll through your camera roll on your phone or find a photo album and make a list of the places that occur frequently. Consider the people that pop up often in these images. Where are the places that feature most heavily in your defining memories? Which photos are the ones you seem most comfortable or relaxed in?
Select five photos and write a paragraph for each explaining why you are in that location and what you saw, felt or heard there. Write about who was with you. Do these locations feel special to you? Do the people who feature in these images make you feel safe? How do these images tell the story of you?
Lost and found
Think of something that you have lost or think of a time when you have been lost. If you are thinking of a lost object, write about the experience of losing it or how you would feel were you to find it again. If you are thinking of a time when you were lost, write about how you found your way home. You could write this piece from your own perspective, or from the perspective of the lost object, or the location you were lost in.
Finding my community
Think of the communities and spaces you feel you belong. This could be a club relating to an activity or a larger community that you share characteristics with, for example the LGBTQ+ community. It could also be a community you are new to but still feel you belong in. Write about finding this community, how you felt when you found it and how you gained your sense of belonging.
My dream place
Is there a place, community or group of people you are yet to find but that you hope would welcome you? Do you have a journey on the horizon that may hold a place for you to truly relax or be at peace? Write about your hopes for the future and try to describe this special place you are yet to find. You could write this as an account of how you'll feel when you are there. For example, 'When I find the person I've been looking for, I'll jump for joy.' Or, you could write it as a letter to your future self: 'Dear me, A few years ago I could never have imagined feeling so happy and at peace.'