You’d think that, after having gone to school 400 miles away from home, I’d have conquered home sickness. After all, I’m only 45 miles away from everyone now, much closer. That, though, might be what makes this all so much harder. They’re so close, and yet just far enough that I can’t see them.
Moving down south of our resident metropolis was and still is a great decision. It’s saved us money on gas and rent, and it’s allowed me to stay home with the boys, rather than working 40 hours for a $200 profit a month, just to make ends meet. I’ve found a great church that’s missionally and relationally focused, with open, friendly people and solid Biblical teaching. We’ve made a few acquaintances down here, and the basics like health care, banking, and grocery stores were a smooth transition.
And yet… I find myself feeling lost and alone.
I feel like there’s a disconnect. Before, I had a well-rounded circle of friends. I had people I could go to, people whose faces I saw weekly, if not more often. I had the closeness of my mother and a new, stronger relationship with her, as well as a growing friendship with my baby brother. I had a solid church home that I’d grown up in, and I felt like part of a team. I stayed with my little Sunday school sweethearts for a year and a half, wanting to grow with them and move up with them as time passed. I had a part-time job at a place I loved, while still getting to focus on my boys. Just as we decided to move, they even offered me a full-time position. The husband had a good job, if exhausting, and we were slowly healing after a rough summer of loss.
Granted, we welcomed the change. As much as I adore my mother-in-law, it was hard living in someone else’s space. And the cost of living where we were was crazy high. My husband’s job was exhausting and low-paying, with little room for growth, and we were both just a little ready to strike out on our own. So, before I give the wrong idea, we definitely wanted to move.
I just didn’t realize that it would be so hard. Maybe it’s because I stay at home all day, or because it’s difficult starting fresh. I’m not sure. I do know that I feel disconnected. The people I meet here are very friendly, but I have yet to meet someone I feel I can be myself around. There’s always that dance, that awkward space of “is this too much sharing or just enough?” I love my church, but again, I feel like I’m on the outside. One leg in and one leg out. They have been more than welcoming, but I still feel like the girl wanting to get into the boys’ clubhouse.
I’ve become apathetic. I’m shutting down. Things that once thrilled me, like the simple joy of a clean house or a well-cooked meal or the smiles on my boys’ faces – they’re empty to me now. I do these things because I have to, not because I want to. It’s a chore to get up every morning, and all I want to do throughout the day is sleep. Escape into the oblivion of a dream world where my loneliness can disappear for a moment. Escape into a place where I’m not depended on every moment of every day, where I can pretend like trips to trendy coffee places to discuss biblical studies are part of my weekly routine, where I’m able to talk freely and openly about my doubts and fears and joys and frustrations. I want to escape from what my life’s become: a series of unending, repetitive acts in a little globe world that includes me, my husband, and my boys. I want to pretend like all of these frustrations of living on our own don’t exist. Like we have enough money at the end of each paycheck to have a zero balance budget. Like we’re able to eat healthily instead of “saving money” on crap food. Like we have a yard that’s not full of cigarette butts and broken glass and beer caps from our upstairs neighbor. Like our bills get paid on time and we’re never wondering if we’re going to be short.
Most of all, I want to pretend like there’s one person down here, aside from my husband, that I can pour my heart out to without having to worry. And right now, I have none of that.
Please don’t misconstrue this. We have a great life. We have a beautiful apartment, working appliances, and food on the table. My husband has a great job and room to make some fantastic career choices. I adore getting to stay home with the boys, and willingly choose to forfeit whatever might come from my other options career-wise. I also understand that an apartment without a yard and with people so close is a sacrifice we need to make in order to have our dream home farther on down the line. I understand and welcome all of this.
It doesn’t change the fact that I long for connection. I have no connection to this place, and I’m beginning to hate it. I’m coming to the uncomfortable realization that I’m falling back into depression, and I have no one here to help me fight it off. We as people are built requiring fellowship, and I’m feeling more than a little fellow-less.
I’m home sick, and I just want to go home.