I never thought I would miss home this much. I am completely homesick and I cannot seem to get it out of my mind. I constantly imagine how things are going back home, I wonder how my friends are doing in their careers, I wonder what's new within my city, I miss the food, and I haven't hugged my mom in over 5 months- and most likely will not get to for at least another 10 months. I am completely out of my element and it is difficult to focus on things I love to do- like traveling and writing.
The homesickness is causing a slight depression and I have been in a little down funk for a few weeks now. I am trying to stay as focused as possible, but often times, I revert back to thinking about things I cannot control. I have been doing so well with meditation, working out, journaling, positive affirmations, doing things I love to do, but I would just really like to chow down on an OG 24 wrap from Longboards, or go grill out before a Royal's game, or ride the street car around and hit up a First Friday's.
I know some people back home will just say I am not missing very much, but it's easier to feel like I am when I am 4000+ miles away. People are getting married, doing well in their careers, moving along in life. Don't get me wrong, I love the traveling bit and seeing parts of the world I probably never would have if I didn't take this opportunity, but I have come to realize the type of person I am in these past 5 months. I have grown a lot already, and have a lot of room for more improvement, but I also want to be able to grow relationships I have with friends and family- the art of accomplishing both is in the balancing act.
I seem to always focus on things I don't have, instead of things I do, which is something I have been attempting to change. I write down things I am grateful for, I remind myself how lucky I am, I try to smile when I really don't want to because I have way more to smile for than I have to frown about.
While writing this, I have had an epiphany. All of these negative and sad emotions I have been having are for a reason. I clearly miss where I am from and everything it provides. I have left my heart in KC and I will be back one day, but that day is not today, nor tomorrow. I can either sulk in the fact I am missing home, or I can use this time as opportunity for growth. I can remain down and bitter and let my homesickness spiral me down to the point of making very poor decisions, or I can continue to learn and progress and smash some life goals of mine. Without self awareness, the former would be the easier path in the short term, but long term it would destroy my psyche, and ain't nobody got time for dat.
Here are some things you can focus on if you are ever feeling homesick:
1. Yourself: We all have goals and plans for our lives, never forget them. Focus on them and why you are away from home. It is for a reason. You might not always feel like working on your goals due to feeling down, but building the momentum and continuing to focus on your goals will allow you to work your way out of the funk you are in.
2. Writing and meditation: You all know I am a big fan of these two and I will push them to the day I die. They help your mind relax by clearing itself, and then you can relax and have less anxiety about any given situation. For example, I already feel slightly better just because I am putting built up thoughts on paper and sharing it with you. You don't write? Try painting, drawing, playing an instrument, or anything that will allow you put some emotional expression on paper.
3. Let your emotions out when they happen: This one is mainly for my fella's out there. Don't hold back your emotions for some macho reason. That is plain dumb. If you are feeling sad, cry. Let it out. Don't feel like crying but you are sad? Watch a sad really sad movie alone and let the water works flow. It really can help you overcome anything you are uneasy about. Oh, and here's more on why you should cry instead of repressing emotions: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/11884611/Why-men-need-to-learn-how-to-cry.html
4. Break a sweat: Get in the gym and workout. Or just walk somewhere for a while. Release some endorphins and your body will help relax your mind for you.
5. Talk. To. People: Even introverts are social beings. You have someone who cares about you. Talk to them. If you think no one cares about you, talk to a stranger and share some common interests and if you get into a deeper conversation then share how you miss home, they could potentially have some insight into your situation. Just don't do it in a weird uncontrollable way. Talk to family back home- mainly so when you tell them you are homesick, they can tell you that you aren't missing anything and you can be reassured of your decision.
6. Cut out the stimulants for a bit: The alcohol, caffeine, drugs, social media, etc., it is all changing the way your brain functions and how your mind views things. You may feel great while doing it and you are no longer homesick at the time, but it is a roller coaster for your emotions and will only perpetuate the period of feeling down. Or you know, just stay perpetually drunk and you will be just fine as well!
All of these are things I am attempting to do while feeling this period of homesickness. I understand it is a phase and it will pass, but I also need to understand it is happening for a reason. I miss you and love you KC and I will be home soon, but I have some things to accomplish first.