08 May 2013

Thoughts on Homesickness



I've debated saying these words for a while now, but I feel like if this is really my journal and something I am keeping to remember my time, then I should be honest and I shouldn't hide the uncomfortable moments of my life because that's not what journals are about.

These past few weeks, as I have waited for the rain to stop, as I have waited for a break from work, as I have waited for sunshine and green bushes and freer clothing, I have felt sad and anxious. My wunderlust has subsided and my love affair with my new country has lost some of its passion. I've felt homesick and sad. I've been missing America, missing English, missing manners. I've tried hard to keep my annoyances in, but they pour out of me in bursts and I scramble to pick up the pieces so nobody around me notices my discontentment.

I worry--often--that if I open myself up to these emotions, that if I really let myself feel the homesickness, then it will overwhelm and flood me. Like, if I begin the feelings, then I'll never be able to stop them. So I tend to keep them away.

I cried only once over homesickness during my first year of college, but I remember it perfectly. Even though I was only a three-hour cornfield-lined drive from my parents, and even though I had spent the past year aching to go somewhere new, I mourned the change in my life and I wished desperately to be back in my childhood bed, talking to my mom in the kitchen, watching television with my dad, and staying up late with my brother sharing songs over our radios.
I crawled out of the tiny corner of the room my roommate had shoved me into (because she had brought the 32-inch TV and sofa and refrigerator, so why should I have space?) and into the poster-clad hallway of my dorm. I listened to my iPod and cried into my knees for ten minutes or so, and then I pulled myself up because crying always gives a small amount of relief. I decided to miss things that deserved to be missed and I let go of the worries that snuck themselves in with the important things, let go of the things that did not need my attention.

Ben has been very understanding and I'm grateful he's been a traveller before because I can learn a lot from him. Maybe I should clarify that I don't want to necessarily go home, I just miss it. I am still filled with curiosity for the world and I still feel that Russia has lessons for me to learn, but is it wrong to wish for a conversation with a stranger? For a chance to order my own food at a restaurant? To be able to buy shampoo without asking Ben to read the label to me?

I know this is all part of the experience, and I know that getting through each day, even with these sad feelings, makes me a better, tougher person, but they are still important. I miss my home and my parents and even the people I didn't care much for, I miss them because they were familiar. Because they were easy. And this is a harder life right now, but one that I know is important for me to get through and to finish.
It would be nice to just close my eyes and be back in Illinois right now. Just for a while. But spring is here and it feels like home. And that is a good thing.

My brother Bobby is my musical soulmate forever and has an uncanny ability to always send me the perfect song at the most perfect times. I've been jamming out to this one for two weeks now. It feels so spring-like and perfect. 

6 comments:

  1. I am sorry you are in the midst of being home sick. Remember to be proud of yourself for being brave enough to go out there and experience different cultures and new things. Like you said, I know you will just come out of this a stronger person. Feel better!

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    1. Awe, I'm fine-just some blues. Thank you : )

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  2. Oh I love that 'Rip tide' song - your brother has great taste in music :)
    I am so sorry to hear you are feeling this way, and I hope this grey time passes quickly for you and one day you can look back at this as a time of growth and strength. It must feel very isolating not being able to speak the language and be amongst a culture quite different, but as you are learning the language I hope the homesickness feelings fade as you learn to find your way.
    For the record, I am loving reading along with your adventures in Russia (found you through Little Loves) and admire your bravery to step outside the norm and live abroad.
    Elise X

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words. They're very appreciated. <3

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  3. You write so beautifully. I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling homesick, but I know you'll be okay because you are HUGE. Focus on the little things. x

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    1. Aw, girl! You rock! Thanks for reminding me!

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