Somedays life is going along normally, and then out of nowhere it hits: homesickness. I think it's unavoidable, living in a different culture, but it would probably happen even if we were just living in a different region of the US (though probably not as strongly).
Most of the time I'm really happy here. I'm learning new things, developing new skills, and trying new things all the time, and I find that really stimulating. Being here has really allowed me to take some risks that I never would have at home. But last week was a really hard week. I missed my family, I missed feeling like I belonged, I missed North Carolina. John got me a new kindle for my birthday, and it nearly put me over the edge because I didn't want anything else in my life to have to change. (I've since adjusted to the kindle and apologized for acting like a crazy person)
I've found with homesickness that just ignoring it and trying to distract myself isn't really the best policy. I don't advocate wallowing in it (though I might be guilty of that), but I think it's important to recognize and confront the feelings rather than pretending they're not there. Only after acknowledging the things I miss and the things that are frustrating me do I find it helpful to focus on the things that I appreciate about being here, remembering happy memories, thinking about what I do enjoy, and recognizing the beauty in my surroundings.
This week I'm feeling a lot more grounded. It's not that I don't still miss the things I miss, but the pain is less, and I'm able to see the good again. For example:
|Beautiful Night Views|
|Making Homemade Bellinis|
|Finding a melon labeled a "Godzilla Egg" (ゴジラたまご) in a fruit store|