A Sweet Longing

The last week or so, I’ve been feeling a little homesick.

While this may break my mother’s heart (I apologize in advance, Mama), I don’t miss home all that often. I’ve come to find that home is where you make it and who you make it with, so really, right now, my home is inNew York, in the company of my friends, and in the lights of the city.

But nothing really replaces your mom. Or your dad. Or the smellNorth Carolinaeludes with the arrival of summer. Or the quiet that comes from an old country road where the only noise prohibited is the sweet melody of song birds in the morning. And no matter how many years I’m away from NC or how many friends I make or how many roots I try to plant  in the pavement, holidays are tough away from the place you always spent them.

They say the mark of a successful parent is when they raise their child to be a mature, functioning, self-sufficient, and happy adult who can handle life without them. I’d say my parents have achieved this feat and I would think that all great parents want their children to turn into capable adults who create an existence that brings them joy, prosperity, and love, of course – but part of growing up is moving on.

If you’re the product of a very happy home with a supportive, loving family, and a community that encouraged success and bigger things than what sweet littleCarolinacan offer – the process of moving on means letting go of where you were to establish where you are. And it isn’t easy. I love my background but I’m confident my future has just as much possibility, if not more. But making that possibility feel just right is a process in itself.

I do consider myself an adult and I am completely independent of my parents for all of my financial needs and wants. I don’t depend on them for anything more than a daily phone call and to be there should I want to spend an outrageous amount of money flying south for a weekend. But there are times, like when I miss them that I feel like I’m less of an adult.

Maybe it is a misconception on my part to think that longing to see your family makes you more of a child and less of a grown-up, but when you travel away from home, as children should – when do you stop missing where you come from? Or not really where, but who?

I think part of the appeal of a relationship or the desire to one day get married comes from the hunger for a home. Especially if you came from a healthy and happy home – why would you not want to design the same foundation? And maybe we think by finding that sense of security or making plans for the future, we’ll stop missing what we had to leave behind to get to where we wanted to be. Maybe we think that sadness that surprises us from time-to-time will stop coming around. Maybe we think by finding love, the love of our childhood home won’t be something we wish we could capture and carry around with us, should a day ever be nothing but doom-and-gloom.

I’m not there yet, so I can’t argue effectively, but I know that nothing compares to my mother’s embrace or the smell of her perfume that lingers on you after. Or my father’s infectious laugher that burns his face and fills in the lines of his wrinkled cheeks. You can’t capture the same smells of bacon and eggs in the morning paired with instant-coffee, or the sound of the washing machine constantly running while my dog scratches at my bedroom door.

And not being able to see your parents on Easter or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day – because it isn’t sensible to fork over $300 in such a short period of time, just sucks. Or knowing the baby cousins you left will only see you once or twice a year, meaning you won’t watch them grow, is sad. Or that you only get to hug your family for a week at a time, maybe twice or three times a year, hurts.

There really is no place like home, no matter how sweet your new one is.

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6 thoughts on “A Sweet Longing

  1. What a touching post! It doesn’t break my heart to know that you don’t miss home very much, it makes me proud that you are making a home and a life for yourself AND doing it with great strength, determination and enthusiasm, I might add! You never stop missing people that you love! I miss you more than you can imagine, but I have never been more proud of you! I LOVE YOU!

  2. I moved away from home 7 years ago (wow, didn’t realize it’s been that long!), and I still miss home. I’ve been on my own completely since I moved, but I still miss my Mom and my Brother a ton. I talk to them almost everyday! It isn’t as painful, and I’m definitely content and happy being where I am (and happier when I move to Seattle!), but there is nothing that can replace family.

  3. Great post. It sounds like you have a great relationship with your parents, and you should be thankful and proud of that.

    Makes me miss mine. We haven’t talked in a while, due to a variety of issues that mainly stem from my living in NYC and choosing to work in theater. While I would love to have that daily phone call and fill them in on my adventures, we seem to have an agreement only to get in touch when necessary.

    But, NYC is a home to me and I’m buoyed by the friends I have here, the people I constantly meet, the work I take, and the hope that, yes, I will eventually find a relationship here.

    Again, great post.

  4. Pingback: Ask the Addict: How to Know When It’s Really, Really Over | Confessions of a Love Addict

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