As I mentioned earlier, I took an unplanned trip to my hometown this weekend. It was nothing more than a family dinner, a visit with my two BFFs and an overnight stay in a hotel room, but it was greatly needed. I miss my friends dearly and it was so nice to see their faces. In the four months since we moved here, not much has changed, but a lot has happened. I wish so much that I had had more time to see more friends and do more things, but I’ll take what I can get. This weekend made me reflect on a few things:
1. I need to make more of an effort to go “home” more often.
2. My friends miss me just as much as I miss them.
3. It’s really exciting and weird to be the out-of-towner in the city where you grew up.
4. Although London doesn’t really feel like home anymore, there will always be a piece of my heart that belongs there. I’ll probably always miss my favourite cookies that are only made in that one little coffee shop in the Market and all the little places – both public and private – where events have turned into memories. I’ll probably never find a tree that I like as much as that one in the park that I think of as My Sitting Tree and I’ll probably be heart-broken one day when I return to find it either gone or grown too tall to sit in. And I know for certain that I’ll never find people anywhere who are quite like my London People.
There is a lot of sadness that comes with leaving a place, even when we have longed to leave and are happy to do so. Maybe it’s just the sadness that comes with returning and finding things changed, realizing that life has moved forward without you. Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown, the unfamiliar territory.
There are certain areas here that remind me so much of London that when I turn a corner, I expect to see a certain building or a particular street sign. When I don’t see those things, I find myself jarred and disoriented in the same way as falling asleep on the bus and waking up just past my stop, not really knowing where I am or how I got there. I still half-expect to run into someone I know on the bus or in the street, but all those people that I know are in a different city, doing different things.
While I miss the sense of familiarity and I miss my friends and I miss so many other little things, please don’t mistake my home-sickness for wanting to go back. I most certainly do not. I just wish that I could bring it all here. I wish that I could have my cake and eat it too, if you will.