This past weekend, I was able to use an airline voucher and visit my family for Thanksgiving. It was the BEST! Honestly and sincerely, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend my break. I knew I missed them before I had even booked my flight, but nothing ever compares to the relief you feel when you hear your mom shriek the moment you exit the airport terminal.
However, I never imagined it would be this exhausting to be away from home. To be away from the ones who have loved you even when you had no idea of who “you” was. But, the funny thing is that what I missed most weren’t the faces of my family and friends, nor was it home cooked meals, free laundry, or a soft bed. What I missed most was the absolute comfort and understanding I feel in the presence of those I love. The feeling I receive from being absolutely understood, without any explanation or run-down of history, cannot be duplicated. I think, maybe, this is what love is?
You know, at 20 years old, I can still rewind to my 10 year old self, sitting on the couch, waiting for the school bus, and eagerly reading a book on Greece. “Oh no! I can’t move to Greece, mom. They used to hit kids! I need to find a different country now…” I exclaimed and in turn, would flip to another book. I guess some things haven’t changed…
However, what my precocious 10 year old self was missing were the feelings I’d eventually feel in moving so far away from home. True, I haven’t yet crossed international waters, but even a few state lines can do the trick.
Though I will never, for one split second, truly regret moving to Boston, I will also not, for one split second, pretend that all I’ve lost from leaving home can ever be found in a few moving boxes sealed with tape. Family, childhood friends, and even a silly little dog…these are people (and canines) that cannot and should not ever be replaced. Only your mom knows why you’re hopelessly attracted to ridiculous men. Only your brother can tell you the little things that set you off. And only your best friends can listen to a overly animated, superficial rant and know exactly what you really mean. And as for your dog…well only she knows when your smile is actually a frown.
Home. Love. Family. All of these things and people are absolutely essential to a life worth living and dying for. In Boston, I’ve had my share of words misunderstood and actions laced with others’ skepticism. And for a while, the loneliness got to me. But now, with every hobbled step taken, every misused word spoken, or stern face broken, I know that somewhere, albeit a little farther away, someone understands and loves me exactly for it.
Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel