This is something I've been thinking a lot about for the past few weeks since I first read someone asking if it is possible to feel homesick when one is at home. This question has really stuck with me, especially because it kind of put to words what I have been feeling for quite a while. We bought our current house in November 2009. So, one would think that after having been here for almost 8 years to the day, I'd feel at home. I don't. I wouldn't say I've never felt at home at all here, and I'm not sure if this feeling has just come up as of late since life as I knew it (and marriage and family life as I knew it) is now gone. Perhaps I have felt this way for a while but am just barely really getting into what the feeling truly is.
As I've been discussing this with friends, it seems that the feeling of being homesick isn't so much a feeling of missing home, per se, but the idea of home. We may love where we live and consider it home, but still feel homesick. Like for me, I miss a of things about home - I miss the friends and relationships I had. I miss the feeling of community. I miss dragging main street in my Jeep. I miss hanging out with my brother. I miss knowing who everyone was. I miss the school dances. I miss the football games. I miss the doing absolutely nothing but having so much fun doing it. I miss taking the four-wheelers out to the sand dunes. Sometimes I miss my life as it was - simple. Growing up in a small town was great! Unfortunately, I didn't appreciate it as much at the time as I do now, looking back. Hindsight truly is 20-20.
I remember walking through the halls of my high school, which, sadly, is no longer standing (where my high school was is now a parking lot, and where the parking lot was is now the new high school; but, I digress), and having big plans for what I was going to do, where I was going to go and what my life was going to be like. I couldn't wait to graduate and make a name for myself. I loved high school, but I knew there was so much more to life outside of high school, outside of Delta, outside of Utah.
Isn't this how we always live out lives? Aren't we always waiting for "the next big thing?" We spend everyday waiting for what is coming next - "I can't wait to graduate high school and move out of this god-forsaken town." "I can't wait to graduate college, and go onto law school so I can make big bucks." "I can't wait to get married." "I can't wait to go watch my son play football." "I can't wait to watch my daughter play basketball." "I cant wait to become the boss so I can do what I want." Or even the more simple things in life - "I can't wait to eat that entire cheesecake." "I can't wait until they release the new Star Wars movie!" "I can't wait until I can leave work so I can go home and take a nap." "I can't wait for this chili to be done so I can have heartburn and ungodly gas for the rest of the day." "I can't wait for UPS to deliver my new toys from Amazon!"
Why do we live our lives in such a way? Or am I the only one who finds myself always waiting for what's next? If we live in the now and enjoy the now more, would we later still get homesick for the good ole days? I love the quote from The Office that says something along the lines of "Why don't we know we are in the good ole days while we are still in them?" Please forgive my horrible attempt at paraphrasing. But the answer that question, I think it is because we don't live in the now. We are always looking back and wondering what might have been or we are looking to the future when things will somehow be better than they are now. Maybe I am the only one guilty of this...
My homesickness seems to be aligned with my depression. However, I believe they are mutually exclusive of one another. I think the latter just helps make the former even worse. My life as I know it now isn't as it was years ago, or even months ago. As I've mentioned on my other posts, with Ariana's ongoing illness, my life isn't quite what it could or should be. This is perhaps why I feel so homesick and lonely even when I am at home with the girl of my dreams, the woman I love, and our beautiful daughter who means everything to me. I long for a life that used to be. Sometimes homesickness is longing for a life that doesn't exist and never has. We want something more based on our idea of what happiness is or has been. Sometimes nostalgia can trigger this. And sometimes nostalgia, while it can be a good thing, can also be detrimental to our happiness. We look back at the happy times we had, the love we've shared with certain people, the great times we had. Then we look at our life now and realize it isn't as good as life used to be. We long to go back to those times when life made sense, when things were easy, and when we didn't have the struggles we have today.
In what you might call my "Quest for Enlightenment," I have spent time trying to reach out to old friends with whom I've lost contact for one reason or another. Some of them I haven't been able to reach. In some cases our friendship or relationship just ended for no reason (or seemingly no reason) and my attempt to reach out is simply for closure. I regret things I've said or didn't say and want to set the record straight. I feel like people from the past deserve to hear what I should've said all those years ago but didn't so they can have the closure we both need. But then I think, maybe I've just selfish. They are happily living their lives with me no longer in it. Is the closure really for them, for us, or just for myself? I feel personally responsible to ask the question, "why are we no longer friends? Did I offend you? Did I do or say something wrong? How come we lost touch?" Really, shouldn't my only question for anyone be "are you happy?"
Why do I feel the need to still be a part of someone's life when they are clearly happy without me in it? I will likely never be able to get back in touch with some of these friends from my past life (high school, college, mission, etc). How do I ever get closure for a friendship or relationship that ended many years ago? Why do I even need closure? Clearly we have all moved on with our lives.
In my post titled "For What it's Worth," I mention my desire to find people and say sorry. I guess I've been saying sorry for a long time. - Sorry for what I said. Sorry for what I didn't say. Sorry for how I made you feel. Sorry for taking our friendship for granted. Sorry for playing with your emotions. Sorry for breaking your heart. Sorry for not being as good a friend to you as you were to me. Sorry I didn't come to your wedding. Sorry I didn't invite you to my wedding. Sorry I never knew the right thing to say. Sorry we lost touch. Sorry I'm not the husband I should. Sorry I gave up on us. Sorry I gave up on everything. Sorry I didn't work harder. Sorry I didn't appreciate the things you did for me. Sorry I was late to your graduation. Sorry I ruined dinner. Sorry I made a scene.
Even as I am finishing up this post, I realize there is no closure herein. I've asked more questions here than I have provided answers. These are questions I ask myself. I think it is perfectly fine to ask ourselves questions, maybe even to answer those questions. But how do we keep all these questions from consuming us? How do we go about our lives with the on-going question of what-if? What if I had scored better on the ACT? What if I had scored better on the GRE, LSAT, etc? What if I hadn't asked her to marry me? What if I hadn't gone on that first date? What if I had so no to that blind date? What if I hadn't kissed her? What if I had kissed her on the first date? What if I hadn't gone to the college I went to? What if I didn't spend all my money on the new Jeep I just had to have? What if I didn't buckle my seatbelt? What if I hadn't broken the speed limit on I-15 between just SW of Vegas and got a huge ticket? What if I decided to try those drugs? What if I hadn't lost my temper? What if I had lost my temper?
Always asking "what if" isn't healthy. But I think that is a question we all ask a lot. I don't know what the solution is to stop asking what if. But I'm sure that part of it is living in the now. And accepting that everything happens for a reason. Of course, sometimes that reason is you're and idiot and make bad choices. But in the end, I think everything does happen for a reason. We want to know what the reason is though, and we may never know. But I still think it is worth resolving conflicts, reuniting with friends, and finding that closure you seek.
Until next time... thanks for stopping by.