Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

Feeling Homesick for Family Instead of a Place

Many people may feel homesick after moving. A job requires an employee to move to a new location. Someone in the military gets a new assignment across the country. An eighteen year old kid moves out-of-state for college. Many of us have likely been in a situation where we’ve been away from what we consider to be home for a long period of time, and are thus left with the sense of homesickness. But what do we miss more, a place or the people?

Most people live in once place for a majority of their lives, and likely never experience the feeling of homesickness. The U.S Census statistics estimate that approximately twelve percent of people move every year. As someone that has maintained a more nomadic lifestyle, having lived in ten different houses in five different states in my nineteen years, I have an interesting experience with homesickness. I can’t say I miss any certain place though. I don’t consider any one state my home. For me, home isn’t a place. Home is people.

My parents have always been the constants in my life. Houses change. I lose contact with previous friends when I’m no longer seeing them day-to-day. But my mother and father have always been there to support and guide me no matter what. Some people might think I’m crazy when I confess that I call my mother at least two to three times per week—but if I’m being completely honest, I consider to be one of my closest friends. I can tell her anything and everything. Time flies as we gossip and laugh together.

I consider myself to be a relatively independent person, but as the holidays inch nearer, I’ve found myself becoming incredibly homesick. I can’t wait to hug my parents, get in petty arguments with my little brother, and spend time cuddled up with my elderly dog.

For me, home isn’t a place. It never has been. It’s family. This quote, by children’s illustrator Flavia Weedn, has always resonated with me. It goes, “Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”

This quote has always meant a lot to me. It always makes me remember the people I’ve encountered that have shaped me into the person I am today. It reminds me how lucky I am to have the amazing people in my life, and how lucky I am to have a family and friends I can go home to when I’m feeling homesick—no matter where they’re located.

 

By: Rachel Schlachter

Rachel Schlachter is a military brat and Domestic TCK who lived in five states and visited twenty-two more. She loves traveling and experiencing new places with her friends and family.