Updated: May 21, 2020
As we grow up, grow older and grow apart from our families, moving out of our hometowns and away from everything we know, sometimes homesickness hits us out of nowhere.
When I was 20, I moved 2,919 miles away from my parents’ house, my friends, my hometown and everything I knew. It didn’t really seem like a big deal at the time, which I know sounds crazy, but it was an adventure, and I was young, in love and invincible (or so I thought.) For the first few years I rarely got homesick, I didn’t even visit for almost an entire year after I moved away. But lately I’ve been homesick more and more often. It sort of hits me out of nowhere, it doesn’t seem to creep up; more often its brought on by something small and silly, like a song or a smell or a memory. I was raised surrounded by a big, loud family, surrounded by people who love me down to my bones, the kind of love you can walk into a room and FEEL. That kind of love reaches all the way through my 3rd cousins, who I talk to regularly and love more like siblings than extended family.
So, I guess I don’t necessarily get homesick, as much as I get love sick. I miss walking into a room full of people every Sunday who know everything about me. I miss trying to keep up with 3 conversations at once over a table filled with prayers, laughter, stories and love. I miss going though 50-year-old photos with my cousins and never noticing the hours going by as we laugh over Grandfather’s haircut and beg to hear that one story we love over and over again. I miss fitting 6 people on a couch made for 3, eating too much and running through the same house we’ve run through for the last 20+ years.
Homesick needs good NY pizza, the kind you can fold over and eat standing up. Homesick needs a facetime with your childhood best friends, and a family recipe made with your husband on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Homesick needs a flight booked back home in a few months, something to look forward to that’s good enough to soothe your heart.
Love sick is different. Love sick is crying for hours because you can feel a piece of your heart missing. Love sick is wishing you could just close your eyes and get to sleep because you’ve been awake for hours and nothing is helping. Love sick is an hour phone call with your mom and still wishing you could curl up in her lap one more time.
Homesick is normal but love sick is lucky. We're lucky because no matter the distance, the time change or the time apart, our hearts are connected in missing one another. We're lucky because we know no matter what happens in our lives, or where our travels may take us, we always have a person or group of people to call home. No matter how much it hurts my heart, no matter how much I miss my family, I’m lucky. I’m lucky to have a family full of my best friends, and I’m lucky to pour love into the same people who pour love into me, I’m lucky to have never known anything different.