Do we actually know what ‘homesickness’ really is. Is it really missing something, like materialistic possessions and comfort, or is it merely the desire for someone, clouded by this haze of objects. I have felt homesickness all my life, and am no stranger to being compromised by it’s hold. Missing out on opportunities and perhaps even letting some people down. But throughout these times, it has always felt as if the environment was wrong and therefore, as soon as it changed I would feel much better.
I think this comes from the idea of comfort. The weirdness, pain and sadness that occupies one’s mind during such a period, I think, due to the alienation that society puts on those with such feelings (making it taboo), we mistake it with discomfort. However, what we are really feeling is an ache for someone, that not only is not it the environment we habitat, but usually in a unfamiliar place as well.
To digress momentarily, I think perhaps the symptoms of such homesickness that I am talking about should be highlighted. Being most common in little children, homesickness creates an empty void that cannot be filled until certain circumstances realign themselves. When someone is removed from their everyday, I think many of these voids are created, as what composed our lives, has dramatically shifted. Yet these are not felt with an unyielding throb, as they are padded with new locations, new games, new routines and new company. However, depending on how deep these holes ran previously, some are felt more intensely and make one feel light headed, have no appetite and want to stop anything that is taking place, and simply lie alone, focusing on their pain.
At least that’s what I have felt. It’s a kind of feeling that is so intense while it lasts, that you feel like someone could diagnose you with a serious disease and it would be understandable. Because while you feel these things, everyone else seems to be doing A O.K. Yet that’s not true. Because it’s a silent pain. Silent discomfort that implicitly runs through every vein, that it is so hard to explicitly translate how you’re feeling.
Yet, returning to the notion that this feeling is merely for a person. Since being left to fend for myself for a couple of weeks, yet in my regular habitat, it has become ridiculously clear that this sensation is not solely bookmarked for occasions of camps and year 9 adventures, but for any person is any situation, where an emotional tie is strong. Hence when one feels like they are missing ‘home’, in fact they are mislabeling their discomfort for missing a specific person.
For me, this makes me think that we should redefine this whole homesickness thing. Perhaps it is more like grief, as grief does not hold the same stigma, does not hold the same notion that ‘only the weak experience it’, and does not have to be constantly paired with anxiety (which holds another layer of societal stigma), rather an everyday deviation from the stream of mental health.
Maybe the human race, would feel more adventurous if they had the collective permission from humanity to experience such burdens when leaving home, travelling overseas, of going on middle school camps.