What being homesick feels like

It was a quick and not really well thought out decision when I decided to move away from my hometown and into another state. I didn’t realize I’d be leaving the friendships that have impacted my life greatly, my funky room in my beautiful home (it had a futon),  the people who raised me and were my best friends when no one wanted to be. I definitely had a rocky road growing up in my hometown. I never moved so it was for the most part the same people since childhood that I grew up with. And people didn’t really move away as much as people moved in. It was the place to be for young families and the communities were so tightly knitted. Despite there being jokes and hard times for everyone here, it truly felt like home. Yeah, anything cool was maybe thirty minutes away but what was the big deal? People would go anyway because family was an important value to uphold at that time and quality time was important.

I had an amazing childhood thanks to my mother who had the best job in the world. Getting to travel and getting treated like royalty everywhere I went made me feel important, and in a way, I was to a decent amount of people. But don’t get me wrong, it’s only because they wanted to impress my mom! At school things were how you’d expect it to be. Bullying here and there but I always had a best friend, though it not be a consistent best friend, to laugh with me and make the hardships of growing up a bit easier. Only around sophomore year to junior year did I find an actual group of friends to hang out with almost every single day. I would laugh so hard with these people, all of our personalities complimented one another. And each get-together was better than the last. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss that comfort of knowing they were always there. But you know the story, college comes around and people disperse and begin their goals and journey. I was panicking, they were all leaving for college all the while in my head I was set on relaxing for a year and then going off to college. But once I saw ALL of my friends, not just the group I was a part of, get accepted into all these different schools in different places, I lost it. I remember quickly looking up schools with late admissions. A slim few popped up and the only one that made sense to me at the time was a school in South Florida. It was about the same distance to get to NYC for Miami, maybe ten to twenty minutes longer. That was a good sign, it meant that I’d know there’s city life near me. Which was a huge deal for me.

I applied despite me not having a good GPA from high school, not that was I stupid- I just didn’t know what I wanted to do until just recently. So the motivation wasn’t there. A week or two later I got an invitation from the dean to this swanky dinner at a country club forty-five minutes away from my house, all the way up in the Jersey mountains. We went and it was basically just a really fancy recruiting event with a ton of rich kids standing around with no social skills. First red flag that I ignored. The next red flag I ignored was the way the dorms looked for the price of the school. It was a tiny private school but I didn’t expect to be living in a shoe box. I’ve seen dorms like that in New Jersey though, so I let it slide. Next was the roommate that I was forced to be paired up with. A major red flag I ignored. There were a TON of signs that told me to stop and rethink this whole big move. I couldn’t handle sleepovers as a kid, why did I suddenly have the balls to move to another state? Was it because my high school sweetheart left me for a sophomore? A part of it. I wanted to leave from that toxic situation because I knew I’d never get truly out of that drama if I stayed a little longer. That was all what I thought back then, but now I believe I left because I knew there was an experience out there waiting for me, and I didn’t want to hold back from it. All of my close friends didn’t. And I figured I could always come back. Or so I thought.

Months into me being away from home, in the back of my head I knew I made a mistake. However I was enjoying that experience that I wanted. The parties, the freedom, starting over and being the person that I wanted to so desperately be. For the first time, people didn’t know who I was and they wanted to be my friend. I also liked being able to not have to sneak boys into my room. That was liberating lol. But still something was missing. I missed my hometown friends, I missed my dog and my parents. I wanted to be back home. But timing is a funny thing, and life doesn’t always work the way you want it to, and sometimes you have to do your best to deal with it. I met my now boyfriend right before I was prepping to move back home. I knew there was something special with him, and I was debating on staying here for a few months to get a cosmetology degree just to have under my belt. So I figured to give the relationship a chance, even though I was 100% ready to move away. I don’t want to say that that was a bad decision because he is a huge part of my life, and I love him so much. I just missed home, and I was able to understand that him and home are two separate paths and I wanted to be with him so badly that I took the plunge again and stayed here.

I left that college after my first year because it was way too expensive for what it offered as a whole, and I was no fool. So that meant everyone I met in college would eventually fade out of my life. Slowly but surely it happened and I was completely alone at this point. All I had was my boyfriend but I didn’t want to be a burden on him so I spent my days crying. I was 100% fine with him going out and doing his thing. I wasn’t the person that I was with my high school ex, I swore that part of me off. I was crying because he was able to be with people and be in his element, and for the first time ever I was a nobody. It felt like being underwater. It was quiet and I was confused with myself. Did I really stay in a place that I knew I didn’t want to be in forever, and start what would end up becoming a very serious long-term relationship for me? I had zero clue what I was doing but I was and still am head over heels for him, that for sure I knew and that’s what kept me going.

I figured I’d have a few friends after a few months but it’s been two years and I haven’t met someone down here that I can click with like I do with my friends back home. They set the standards WAY too high. I knew at that point that the only way I could feel better was me visiting Jersey frequently. But flying got scarier as terrorists began bombing and shooting innocent people so I didn’t fly home as much. The airport I’d fly into was considered a target for those assholes so I was a scaredy cat and stayed in my apartment, still alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’d visit every 5-7 months but I originally had plans of being there one weekend out of every month. That just didn’t turn out to be as realistic as I had hoped. I felt like an asshole to my boyfriend, I was starting to lash out at him for my loneliness. Eventually the loneliness turned into depression. I wasn’t treated for it but I remembered this feeling before when I was seeing a psychiatrist and was then diagnosed with depression. I didn’t bother seeking help because I knew what the issue was, I was aware of everything I was doing and everything around me. It didn’t help that my boyfriend has a ton of friends and whenever they were over our apartment, they only talk about high school or sports. Two things I’d have zero clue about. I thought it was off to talk about things like that when you know there’s someone there with you that can’t relate or even know what you’re speaking about. These people still don’t really know me or ask about my life or anything and they are supposed to be my “friends” now. These weren’t my friends. It’s not like I can see these guys without my boyfriend with me. That’s just sketchy and goes against guy code, so why would they ask me to hang out with just them? I love my boyfriend but I hated being attached to his hip. I was annoying him and myself but there was just simply no one else. I wanted girl time, someone to shop with and just fuck around at home with. I was missing out on experiences that I wasn’t ready to let go of. 

I came to the decision that in order to not bring myself and my relationship down, I needed to decide to either stay sad or deal with it and make the best of the situation I was in. Naturally I decided both. The thing about being homesick is that that emptiness in your heart never gets filled until you visit. But it hurts even more because you have to say goodbye eventually. And I suck at goodbyes, I end up being mean to people that way it doesn’t hurt as much for me. And that isn’t healthy. Who I was becoming wasn’t healthy at all. I still don’t think I’m all there, as I still have some major growing to do. But I also know that I’m an optimistic person now, and that people change, feelings change, and situations change. I don’t know what the future holds, all I know is I 100% can’t stay in this state forever. As of now my boyfriend is my home and I couldn’t be happier in his arms. It’s just, I know a soul like mine belongs in Manhattan and I’m going to get there someway, without disrupting the good things I have going on in my life right now.

Life’s too short to be unhappy.

3 thoughts on “What being homesick feels like

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