Homesick. I have to say this is one of the worst feelings I think you can have. But have you ever been homesick and you aren’t sure what or where you are homesick for? I’ve been feeling this lately. I feel like my daughter, because she has said this multiple times since we moved here. But it always happens in a down moment-either a moment of frustration or when she has gotten herself in trouble-she’ll say “I just want to go home”. It’s gut wrenching to hear but when she says it, I know exactly what she means. She means she is feeling uncomfortable. She means she wants to go back to 10 minutes ago when she wasn’t frustrated or in trouble or sad. She wants to go back to what she thinks of as comfortable. And the word 'home' is what that is for her. When she specifically says she wants to go home to Tennessee, our previous home, she’s remembering the comfort and stability it was for her. She remembers that we had been there for a long time (3 years), she doesn’t remember the first moment we moved there and how uncomfortable that was for a short time. She just remembers that when we left, it was her home, it was comfortable, and it was a place to come back to that was familiar after anything new happened.
I’ve been in a slump for a few weeks now and I finally realized this is the same feeling I have been having, homesick. I miss being comfortable. I miss being around familiar faces. I miss being with people we share memories with. I miss being in my home surrounded by trees and land and the smell of the country air. I miss my kids going to school and having other teachers recognize them and say hi to them. I.miss.it.all. Every single bit.
When Hartlyn said she was homesick this week, I got frustrated, because I’m feeling the same thing and you just want it gone. But then I told her “its ok to miss those things, I do too, but this is our home now, I am your home and we have to make this place home instead of always missing our old home.” I then asked her to tell me something she is grateful for here in our new home and she said her new school-which is huge because her old school is something she missed the most. My other daughter chimed in and said some friends we have here and the fact that all four of us are together (my husband travelled back in forth at our old home). I gave them a big hug, that we all needed, and suddenly, the mood of the morning shifted, Hartlyn calmed down and I could see her body lighten and face change shape from sad to content. I, too, felt better that we were able to change our frustration to a not-so-bad kind of feeling. It didn’t go from mad and sad to amazing and great within those few minutes, but it did go to content and that was a huge improvement.
When I realized my feelings were directly in line with Hartlyn, of course I had the urge to fix her bad feelings well before mine, but in doing so it allowed me to redirect my thinking a bit. I think you can feel homesick at any point in your life. I think there are a lot of times we miss the feeling of comfort, I know we grow when in our most uncomfortable states and I have totally experienced that, but sometimes I think its ok to want to slip back into comfort for a moment. Gain control in a world that may feel like its spinning and you have nothing to grasp onto. Usually those moments lead to something great and I’m all for that. But I think its ok to take a break from growth and discomfort and let the winds settle. I don’t want to get stuck here, because I know I have goals and don’t want my life to be exactly the same in 5 years and it will take growth and discomfort to do that. But, when you feel like the discomfort is bringing you to a place you don’t want to be, give yourself a moment to be comfortable. Shut your bedroom door, turn on the real housewives or an old movie and just lay there and mindlessly watch, read a book, snuggle with your family on the couch and don’t leave the house for a whole weekend while you all reconnect, call an old friend, journal, go shopping, just sit or just be, with no agenda for a moment-everything will be ok if you don’t do that one thing today. Let yourself have that for a moment so that you can confidently enter the next moment of uncomfortable with the reminder of comfort a little bit more near.
You will get to the growth state again, but for now, for this moment, let yourself be and don’t let anyone tell you your stuck when you do that. I think we are encouraged often to leave our comfort zone and do things that will lead you to growth as a person and success in one area or another, and trust me that is so needed in all aspects of our life. But it’s not often we are encouraged to be comfortable for a moment. So I hope this can be a little reminder to say no to the thing, hide in your house for a weekend, do what YOU need to do in order to remind yourself of that feeling of comfort and safety, so when you enter the next moment of wild discomfort on your journey to something really great, you know home isn’t so far away.