Tomorrow is my four month anniversary of being in Europe and yesterday I had my first big cry apart from my first night in Berlin when I was lying on my new bed reading the notes my sisters gave me. My heart felt about 100 pounds too heavy – why does emotional baggage weigh so much? It makes me want to hide under a rock and never come out, but we have to keep walking, I think. Even when we feel like hiding; perhaps especially when we feel like hiding. I wanted to wash away the extra weight with a good cry, but at first the tears didn’t come. At last, they did come, like one big earthquake that finally erupted after months and months of building up. It was the kind of cry where I couldn’t catch my breath and I lay on my bed trying to make myself as small as possible. It was the kind of cry where I wished I was home on my bed with my familiar green pillow. It was the cry of being homesick. I knew it was bound to happen at some point. In truth, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.
I just watched a video of the summer of 2010. How different we were five years ago! Thinking about it now, it rather astonishes me how many things we did together and how much I took it for granted. All six of us in the car – I don’t even remember the last time all six of us were in the car driving somewhere together. It seems so silly to think about how we used to argue about who had to sit in the back and how loud or soft the music was…but I miss it. I miss my dad’s good morning kiss on the head and my mom helping me with math homework. I miss being silly with Krystyna, sitting beside Klaryssa every dinner, and having Karina just a phone call away to help me with directions when I was lost. I miss our bus rides to school discussing our theories for our favourite TV shows, and coming home to a meal my dad made (even though I sometimes complained about what the meal was) and eating my mom’s freshly baked scones on the weekend. I miss my dad making me a mocha for no reason except that he loved me, and I miss coffee and cake at my grandma’s house, and everything in between.
They told me that apparently my grandma has changed a lot since I left. She’s more negative than usual. She can’t set the table by herself. It makes me wonder…am I being too selfish being here in Europe? Am I allowed to be selfish? Maybe my family needs me more than I need to see the world.
They painted my room at home. I was a bit shocked when I first heard the news. I guess I always imagined coming home, going into my room, jumping on my bed, and just lying there thinking about life and how much has happened. Now when I come home, it won’t be my room anymore. It won’t feel like my room. I wanted it to be just how I had left it. My room, with the green walls, and the papers and pens scattered on the desk, and my shelves exactly as I remembered them. Perhaps it’s a good thing they changed it. The room is gone and that girl is gone too – I couldn’t go back to her, even if I wanted to. Maybe it will make it easier for me to move on, to let go, to embrace the new me. Because if my room was exactly the same as it was when I left it, I probably wouldn’t fit in anymore. The room represented a time in my life that’s over now, but still, I’m sad I only had time to give it a quick good bye. I still remember frantically turning around to snap a quick picture and give it one last glance before running out the door. That makes me sad.
It’s funny – I felt homesick before I left for Europe just thinking about everything I loved about home that I would miss. Then when I got here, I was so enchanted and in love with everything that I never really gave myself a chance to fully acknowledge the fact that I miss home and the people who live there. If any feelings did arise, I would quickly brush them aside and think about something else instead.
I love this adventure I’m on right now – everything I’m learning, seeing, and experiencing. But now I’m also starting to really understand what Passenger meant when he said you “only hate the road when you’re missing home.” Because the road is a pretty great place to be…but it’s not home, and never will be.