It's been 11 months since I moved from Chicago to Washington D.C. and I still feel homesick. There, I said it. It actually feels a little bit good to say that but at the same time I feel guilty saying it. People say that home is where the heart is - therefore, it should be where my life is with my husband, which is true...but home for me is where my mom also is. I have lived my entire life always being in the same city where my mom is -- even when she was traveling all over the world on multiple sabbaticals and enjoying life to the fullest.
Now at 31, shy from turning 32, I am separated from my maternal home and having to officially grow up and build a new home and life with my husband. For some this might sound easy but trust me its not. I was so used to living my life in Chicago (even when at times I complained about its flaws), but I had established a core group of friends that I can lean on for anything, my family and extended family was there, and let's not forget I found my media naranja in Chicago..... so leaving all of that behind was and still is tough.
At this ripe age, making new friends is not easy. It really isn't. #nonewfriends was my motto for the last few years in Chicago since **I thought** I was done with investing time in making new friends and was now enjoying the small group of friends that became family. But making new friends now is a priority if I want to survive the "Hollywood of the east coast". In this city making friends is a political game, you have to answer the following questions correctly (without mumbling or stumbling or anything in between); where are you from, what do you do, where do you work and if they are bold enough what political party do you support.
In the past, the feeling that I am living now came through when I was studying abroad or out on the road too much for work. But now, this kind of homesickness is no joke -- I lost track the number of days over the last year that I cried because I missed my old condo, missed my friends, missed my monthly breakfast with my godmother, missed birthday parties (you know you have no friends in a new city when you aren't invited to one birthday party --- but to be clear I have 5 and was invited to two birthday parties in DC), and so much more.
What also didn't help with this new transition is that I wasn't busy at all at work until July so my first few months in DC were hellish -- slow at work, no friends, husband working hard for that money, which essentially led me to be bored out of my damn mind. I was lucky and had a lot of people visit us since we moved, that's definitely helped. Essentially what I am trying to say is, I still feel it but its not as bad as before. Am I loving DC? Not really but I am getting used to my new life here. I still miss all the things I had in Chicago, especially having more money to spend, since paying for rent in DC is ridiculous!, but I miss it just a little bit less.
I guess that is the point of when you know you are growing, when the things that you missed or made you sad are a slight fainted memory and you start to learn how to live the new life that you may or may not have chosen for yourself. That's also what travel does to you, it helps you grow especially during moments of discomfort, you learn from it and then grow.