Submitted by la miller on 20 November, 2008 - 18:09

At first, I thought it was just the time of year.

It's taken me days, maybe even weeks, to identify the particular flavor of malaise that's lingering in the fuzzy corners of my mind. It's homesickness. I can't remember ever being homesick before, but I'm sure that's what I'm feeling.

It seized me election night. The people with whom I wanted to share the excitement were far, far away. Since then, while classes have been keeping me busy and intellectually engaged, I find my mind occasionally sneaking away to the hinterlands and I have a feeling of longing for a life that is over.

Thank goodness time doesn't stand still. People move. Babies are born. Relationships bloom. All good things. The space I occupied has been grown over. Good, yet bittersweet. How hard it is to let go.

It helps to think about refugees and people living in forced exile. They didn't have a choice. Dislocation is a common 20th, and 21st, century experience. Even if I call my experience "relocation," and remember I chose it, I can still use my sadness to care for others. I will have more compassion now.

I'm not sure rooting around in it will get me the inspiration that I need to make it all worthwhile. I guess I believe I have to make this current life of mine with the homesickness worthwhile. What I've learned and worked on this semester seems to be on track to accomplishing something. But still, I'll need more inspiration.

It is an antidote to laziness I hear.

My homesickness is both nostalgic for and undermined by my remembered acts of laziness. Sigh, I was so creative and able to do as I pleased. or Ugh! I was so much a self-indulgent sloth. The latter gets at the truth of the matter.

This is my chance to learn and create. I have so few distraction except myself, which can get blown up big and blinding and it spirals out of control.

Election night homesickness is appropriate. I truly missed several beloved friends. But it's getting me nowhere today. I do feel a bit more inspired now, having written a few paragraphs and turning my thinking in a different direction. I think of my friends and their faith in themselves for what they do and their faith and support of me. And I see how I keep inching along with my ambitions. I've met some nice people, too. Maybe I will have friendships that are deep and valued with some of them.

Time will tell. For now, I've got to keep up with my homework and assignments. I've got to go to class soon.