It’s been about two-and-a-half years since I picked up and left Texas. As with any major change in life, there have been ups and downs. I have had a constant battle between missing home and loving my new home. I talk to my family nearly every day and have been able to go home as often as I can afford to. Still, that tiny, dreadful feeling manages to creep up on me from time to time. It takes over my mood and outlook on my new life in Boston. That feeling is homesickness.
During high school, I couldn’t wait to leave my tiny, west Texas town. “There’s nothing here!” I would always say.
During college, I couldn’t wait to leave the much bigger, Dallas/Fort Worth area. I hated spending so much of my day in traffic and in the heat. I longed for my small town.
Now, there are days when I still long for my small town or even Dallas/Fort Worth… somewhere familiar. It’s an internal game of tug-of-war; but I’ve learned to keep it under control.
Find Your Tribe
I have several families up here that I know would be there for me if something were to happen. I know that’s a dark way of thinking about it, but being far from home, these are things you think about. Who are your emergency contacts? Who can I call if I need help right then and there? The generosity of my friends and their families has been amazing. I have so many couches that are available for me for a night, so if I’m ever truly sick for home cooking, I have options.
I spend most of my off-time volunteering and trying to give back to the community. Spending time with those who are less fortunate, have impairments or are also lonely can really put things into perspective. I always catch myself thinking “poor little thing, you are living independently in a fabulous city and can’t manage to be happy…” Funny, huh? What seems so big to us, really doesn’t have to be that big at all. Spend your time doing things you enjoy, get a good work out in (endorphins!) or get lost in a good book. Whatever it may be, it’s much better that staying home and thinking about your family or friends.
Set a Goal & WORK
As a goal-driven human, I function better when I have something to look forward to or work toward. Scattered around my desk is a notebook and post-its of lists, to-dos, etc. Rather than spending time moping around, working to achieve something is always better. So schedule that half (or full) marathon! Or go ahead and start your side hustle. Occupy your mind with achieving your goals, because crossing something off a list always feels good.
And when all else fails, call mom or dad. Let them know how you feel. You may either get a surprise visit or a lovely care package full of your favorites from home.
Do you have any tips for homesickness?