I don’t mean to be melodramatic again, I think I am not that homesick anymore. I am living in United States for 2 months and 6 days now, I guess you can practically say I adapted quite a bit. I am getting much more familiarized with my surroundings or in the city that me and husband lives in, from the menu in the restaurants to the look of the buildings and especially how quiet it is here.
I think it’s time to share my experience about homesickness.
Arriving in Los Angeles International Airport on the 9th of June with 13 hours of flight from the Philippines. I felt like I stepped in- in a whole new world. I felt my body is buzzing with so much joy and excitement. I can’t believe that a small town girl like me finally set foot in the land of Hollywood or the land of dreams. My heart is also very happy knowing that the love of my life is out there waiting for me, the very reason why I am here and that United States will be my home from now on. The man who made me jumped out of my comfort zone, the one who told me it’s really okay to make your dreams become reality.
My first day was like a dream. A happy dream. We had so much fun in Huntington beach and ate our lunch in Ruby’s. It was so perfect, I felt like floating happily the entire time. A lot of firsts for me, like seeing the birds or plants I have only seen in movies, tasting authentic American food and many others.
My fiance wants to visit Huntington Beach with me, this is a special place for him. He said that at night, it’s his favorite place to be in Los Angeles. He loves how quiet it is and yep- perfect for introverts. Not to mention sunset and stargazing are perfect here. I also find it interesting that a year ago, going to Huntington beach, he met this taxi driver who made him kinda promise that one day he will bring a good girl that he wants to marry in this beach. Cheers, I guess I am that girl.
So here we are, seating on the sand.. looking at the endless ocean. Looking out at the other side of the world.. which I know where my country is. It felt so weird I am here now at the other side of the world. If you think about it, I am just an ocean away. An ocean away..
I woke up crying the second day, it was only about 5 or 6 in the morning. I cried so much because it finally dawned on me (maybe on my sleep) that everything will never be the same again or that I am away from my home, from my family and friends.
Homesickness for me is like an inner battle. It feels painful inside, like you have this weird and new realizations in life, uncertainties about what the future brings and just roller coaster of emotions because everything is new and different. Like you just found yourself smack in the middle of nowhere or in a whole new world. Where you have given opportunities to start all over again, a new life, a new career or to move on from the past. Changes is a dreaded word for many but also an opportunity to make your life better- somehow .
When I woke up crying, my fiance also woke up to comfort me. I told him, I didn’t cry on the plane at all, although I expected myself to cry there. Maybe because of the excitement of traveling for the first time. The sadness won’t really dawn on you if you expect it. It creeps up on you… and then pins you down.
So I cried from my second day of being in the United States and the next days after that for the whole week. A cry that comes from inside. Take it from a girl who never been out of the country before or move out from her parents house for the first 24 years of her life even during college. I cried hard missing my parents, my grandmother and even my brother – which I hate most of the time (you know, the petty fights between siblings.) I also get a lot of ridiculous thoughts and worrying so much. Like wishing that my family are safe there without me, that I hope my grandmother will have a longer life so I can see her every time I visit the country, or wishing my brother will become a successful and responsible human being now that he is starting his career as a 19 yrs old young adult and other stuff that I don’t usually think of before are hitting me like how full steam torpedoes would.
Oh the drama of life.
So what I did to fight the homesickness, although mind you.. I love wallowing in sorrow too.
- The first week, I busied myself cleaning the house. Good thing my husband is not a clean freak. It wasn’t a nice feeling being welcomed by a dusty old house. But at least I used my negative energy (being homesick and sad) to better my present situation, I meant I get a nice and clean house after that. Many times, I found myself pausing in between my cleaning just so I can cry. The cleaning was a way for me to make the house feel like a home because whether I like it or not.. this is my new home.
- Try new things or make new hobbies. Do the things you have always wanted but wasn’t able to do before. Like with me, I enjoyed baking now and cooking different and new recipes.
- I met the family of my husband. We stayed on my fiance’s parents house for the whole weekend and that helped a lot with what I’m feeling. They were so nice and concerned about me. There was also a family reunion on that weekend and I was able to meet and talk to the rest of the family of my fiance and they made me feel so welcomed.
- Being outside as much as you can like eating out in the famous local restaurants or visiting a local favorite parks. If you are always inside the house, you are always tempted to be sad and homesick especially when your husband is at work and you are all alone.
- Video talks to my family back home, being able to listen to their familiar voices and seeing them although it’s online works. It makes me feel they are with me or that I am not alone or they are not that far from me. I talked to them every morning on weekdays for the whole first month. This helped me so much!
The first week was very tough to me. So it is important to keep encouraging yourself that every day it gets better because it really did. Homesickness makes you see your new life at the wrong places. It makes you see weed instead of flowers or a dark sky instead of stars. It’s very easy to fall into this trap. Counting your miseries instead of feeling blessed. So it’s all about which way you look..
Homesickness is normal but to dwell on it with no end is not. It is okay to cry. To let all your sadness out because your emotions have the right to be out there. So just give it time, focus more on the future and try not to get lost in the limbo of the present. That’s the beauty of homesickness, it makes you realize the things you should have valued or it makes you miss things that normally you don’t. Such an irony isn’t it?
But you have a new life to live now and a new home to create. So use everything in your power to be happier every time. If you choose to see it, you will really see how blessed you are and that you have so much going on in your life now that it is in your former home. Not all people can get a chance like you did, a chance to meet and make new friends or just the thought of being able to live in two very different countries and make them your home while many usually just have one. So your chance of starting over is a reason why we celebrate life. So smile now, will ya?
See you in my next post.