It’s not like I haven’t cried at all since leaving Australia. I teared up on the phone to my parents on December 23rd because it was a sunny family-filled Christmas Eve in Canberra for them while, for me, it was a grey winter’s day on my own in a place where the taste of cigarette smoke tendrilled through me almost as soon as I stepped onto the balcony.
There was another night, months and months ago now, where I shook silently in bed and awoke to find smudges of mascara on my pillow. And, once, I started crying in the middle of an Anthropologie store, but luckily the place was so packed with praying mantis-painted plates and lace-strewn teatowels that no one saw me falter.
For all that, today marked the first time I found myself curled up powerlessly, tremblingly, in as tiny a ball as my body could make, sobbing with homesickness, helpless.
I miss my friends back home. I miss the people who have known me all my life (or at least for many years), and I miss being able to call someone and arrange a coffee or dinner catch-up within the hour. I miss the softness of my grandma’s clothes and the perfume of my grandpa’s homegrown roses, and I miss the perfect contentedness of making coffee on the weekend to sip with my parents while we talk and laugh and talk.
I miss hugs. I really yearningly miss having people to hug every day. I miss the cocoon of arms and I miss familiar animated faces. Familiar names on an animated screen, while wonderful, are not quite the same.
I know this will pass. Or, at least, the intensity will pass. I am happy in my current life, my current world, my current challenges, successes, and adventures. I am chuffed that it’s taken eight months for homesickness to knock me down this completely.
I’m still happy, still excited, still thrilling to the touch of a new morning.
But I do miss having people to hug every day.