Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I never get homesick. Never. I used to pride myself on this fact. My mom would brag to her friends that her kids were never home, and that we never needed to be comforted while we were away. We (my sisters and I) were gone so much that she even began to feel like we didn't want to be around, that we might not have any feelings for our home at all. We used to dream up elaborate vacations to go on, adventures we would have, and as we got older, took advantage of the ability to make some of them realities. I've spent every summer away from home as far back as I can remember, usually by myself. I have very vivid memories of seeing girls even at just week-long sleep away camps needing to be comforted by counselors, their heads rubbed and reassured, "Don't worry, you'll be home soon." And I thought, what's the deal? You spend pretty much all your time at home anyway, why wouldn't you be dying to spend time away? What possibly could there be to miss at home?

But those memories are coming back to me, and find myself kind of wishing I had a counselor of my own these days to rub my head and encourage me to, "Keep going strong! Because the comforts of home are not that far away!" I decided to spend a grand summer away in New York City, working for an incredible organization that aligns perfectly with my ideologies, and I did not think for one second that I would be anything but totally happy in a new environment, with all new people, doing a completely different kind of job than I've ever had before. Seven weeks later, I'm starting to feel the wear.

I shooed away my first homesick thoughts, writing them off as weak, not fulfilling my adventure to the absolute fullest. But, in the spirit of being a person who thinks emotions are very important messages to the self and should be respected, no matter how ridiculously out of place or goofy they may feel at a given time, I gave up and went with it for a while. And yes, I realized, I WAS capable of feeling homesick (shocking), and maybe this wasn't a bad thing.

Thinking about, okay, missing home, has made me realize just how much I value it. Just like when I spent all my time hating Atlanta while I lived there, all I had to do was move away to really appreciate it. Having a similar realization about Charleston has actually been really beneficial, because I hadn't been considering it a real home. But now, away from it, not only do I consider it home, but I'm actually sick for it. And these thoughts have allowed me to meditate on the good of Charleston--the proximity to my friends, the bike navigability, the beautiful springtime, farmer's market, the beach, the relationships I've been able to develop with professors, Art Walks, my jobs, happy hour at Vickery's--while thinking less of just how quickly I can't wait to get out of there. So maybe homesickness isn't a bad thing after all, if it makes you remember all these great things about where you live. I'm definitely not going to stop going on adventures anytime soon, but maybe I won't be so hard on my home next time I'm around there. I mean, if it's worth missing, it can't be that bad, right?

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