Homesickness It’s Not All About Home
I still remember, when I left my hometown and moved to Aurangabad, New school, new city, new people A new phase of life I was super excited & the newness was awesome, but after some time I started to feel homesick the novelty of the new surrounding had worn off. I found myself lying on the bed after classes with the lights turned off and gazing out the window into the sky. All I could think of were the faces of my best friends and family. I started to feel annoyed, sceptical, and mostly homesick.
“As routines are changed with new academic pressures and social environment, and home by a dormitory full of strangers, the desire for the familiar environment, friends or home cooking sets in. Homesickness is nothing new & happens to just about anyone away from home”
The second time I recall feeling madly homesick was when I lived in Baroda. Again the novelty was amazing. There was the dry, cool breeze, fun shows, and the food was stellar. After a while, the newness wore off. Despite normally loving to travel and explore, I found it difficult to adapt. Being in my late 20s, I was a little ashamed to confess I was homesick. This wasn’t school, this is life! And I was a full-grown adult!
The homesickness wasn’t intense; it was more of an underlying emptiness that followed me everywhere I went — even booze and happy pills couldn’t fill the lonely gaps. Because I felt lonely I liked to stay at home, sleep and watch television, I was not very lively compared to how I would be at home. I went through the days as if everything was fine and covered on a stiff smile at work. This time, I accepted the situation and that’s what adults do. We’re supposed to find new buddies, forge new lives.
But the fact is, even now, in my 30s, I seldom get homesick. The difference is….I feel homesick, but I am at home.
How could I feel so badly homesick when I am at home?
After all, I am living with my family, sleeping in the bed I grew up in, breathing in all the familiar smells that formed the simple, pure memories of my childhood. I make myself busy in everything that usually made feel safe and connected. I spend time drinking tea in the kitchen with my mother.
I curled up into the same corner I would seek solace in when life felt too hard to deal with. Nothing provided relief. Because I wasn’t homesick for a home. Homesickness isn’t necessarily about home.
I was homesick for the boy I used to be.
Home is a feeling. Home is me. When I have stopped being myself, nowhere in the world will ever feel like home. I feel homesick all of the time when I am disconnected from myself. Even when immersed into the very familiar, safe arms of home I grew up. Nowhere is safe when my mind isn’t a safe place.
I missed myself. I had wandered away from the adventurous, happy, nature-loving boy who used to spend time in Sahyadri’s ancestral farm. Who used to love farming. I had lost him, and it was him I missed, not home.It wasn’t just the old me that I missed. I was also homesick for a time and the natural beauty I have experienced at my ancestral farms. I was homesick for my fantasy of being a farmer.
When I revisited my roots, my homesickness lifted.
It was only when I took the long walk back to Sahyadri’s that my homesickness lifted.
I learned homesickness is not about a home, it’s not the old memory of the boy I once was. It’s not in the familiar faces of my best buddies. It’s not even in my loving family that I have in the deepest part of my heart.
It’s in me, It is in my love for the farm, Its in my ancestral roots.
“Start building roots in yourself, pursue your passion. Because things change & evolve. People leave us unexpectedly. Everything we thought we knew can be taken from us in an instant. But no one can ever rip you away from you and your roots”
When you find solace in yourself and your passion, you are always at home. Because home is within you. It’s like old Buddhist saying: Wherever you go, there you are.