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Thursday, April 8, 2010

On Homesickness

I think the aching of homesickness is far worse than any stomach flu, cold or broken bone I’ve had. As a child I was always the independent one. I was never afraid to leave home since I was secure in the knowledge that it would still be there when I came back. The fact that my home will still be there when I return remains but the length and distance have never been so great.
To be honest, I’ve never felt as though I’ve been homesick before. Of course I thought of my family when I was away but I’ve never seen the use in ‘missing’ them, per say, when I would see them when I returned. Now maybe that sounds a bit harsh. I absolutely adore my family but when the length of time away was so short I was always just so excited about the new surroundings. The saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is so true for me in this case. The longer I am away the more I come to value and appreciate my family and friends. I now understand why they call it homesickness. It is like a sickness that comes in waves, usually at the most unexpected times.
I think that if one lets homesickness cripple themselves, they could potentially miss out on other wonderful opportunities. For example, I believe I have the most amazing family and friends back home in Canada. If I were to just leave it at that and say to myself ‘it can’t get any better than them’ I would have missed out on the opportunity to build some amazing friendships here in Kenya. In Ecclesiastes 3:11 it says “there is a season for everything” and that even applies to friends and family. We can have repeat seasons or a season that lasts over the course of a lifetime but it is still a season.
Now, I am coming to realize that friends I have from my past do not have to dictate homesickness. Sometimes friends are meant to be at only one stage in your life and then they move on like you do. Family will always be your family but you are not meant to live with them forever. You grow up and move on to do your own thing or even start your own family.
So, with this new-found mindset I am setting my thoughts, yet again, on the positive side; that life’s memories should be used as an empowerment tool and not one to bring your down.