When you leave home for any extended period of time, it’s known from the start that you’ll miss it. Maybe you won’t miss all of it but you will miss pieces of it, fragments here and there. These morsels of comfort don’t appear as you expect either. They crystallize in the puddles on foreign grounds, manifest on the faces of strangers, and ruminate in the smells of unfamiliar foods.
Perhaps food is the biggest trigger for desiring home; that hankering feeling stems from the stomach first. It stabs suddenly and is almost painful but it isn’t. It complicates all senses and immediate activity, making you question what it was that you were doing and why you were doing it. It’s that ineffable emotion that leaves us wondering, when we are home, bored, and safe in our beds, why the feeling even comes at all.
As much as I want to deny it, I do miss home but it’s not that I want to go back right now. It’s more that I miss the goings-on at home. I have a major inability to overcome the fact that other people’s lives still go on even when I’m not with them. I just wish I could have pressed “pause” on all aspects of my life at home – people, especially – and hit the “play” button as soon as I returned but life doesn’t always appease wishes now, does it? I just find it extraordinarily baffling how I can be having such an incredible experience here and yet still feel as though I’m missing out on things. And I know it’s because I am missing out but they’re always such silly, trivial things – birthdays, parties, school functions, movie openings, etc.; things that don’t mean much when you’re in attendance but feel crushing when you’re on the outside looking in. Granted, those moments are usually fleeting because by the time I’m ready to break out the ice cream and the Adele playlist, I’ve usually mentally slapped myself and said: “You’re in Europe, stop being a martyr and go enjoy this amazing experience. You’re an ingrate.” My conscience can be quite the snarky bitch sometimes.
All in all, I’ve come to learn it’s part of the trade – one life for another. You can’t try something new without leaving behind something; be it a person, a place, a feeling. And yes, sometimes it’s not always the greatest decision to leave what you know but sometimes, it’s the best one you’ll ever make. So, while I miss dinner at my grandparents, the fluffy face of my dog, my ridiculously comfortable bed, Chipotle, crazy nights with my friends, and most of all, my parents, I know they’ll be right there waiting for me when I get back. No more rushing my time and no more wishing I was elsewhere for everything we know, my friends, is temporary.