The last few months here in California have been too stressful for me to notice any homesickness: between money woes, car woes, and job woes, I just didn't have any extra energy to think all tat hard about how far away I was from everyone I know. Now that I've started the new job (read: yay!), I am finally starting to realize just how lonely it is being 2000 miles away from everyone who loves you.
I've always been a person who enjoys solitude. I'm usually most myself when I'm alone, and I find moments of grace in the quiet afternoon sitting alone in a park or reading on a porch. I like setting my own schedule for things, saying at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday that I'm going to go to the drug store, or for a walk, or showering at 2 in the afternoon. I like not having to consult a committee before making plans.
At the same time, I'm realizing just how seldom I really have been alone in my life, truly alone. One of the only periods I lived alone was my sophomore year in college, and that didn't have such great consequences for me. I guess I've wanted a life of solitude as a kind of exercise in the idea of it, while the practice has me sitting at home most nights watching DVD's on my laptop and going to bed at 8:30.
I really do miss being able to travel 40 minutes to see people, hopping on a bus or train or in a car and going to see friends, having plans every weekend, or just going to the mall with my sister. Now, if I'm shopping, there's no one to turn to and point out something funny, or tragic, or interesting. I can choose whatever movies I want to see, but there's no one to discuss them with on the ride home. I've never been much of a hugger, but I haven't been hugged by anyone in close to three months, and that's given me a whole new appreciation of them.
I know eventually I'll start making friends out here, but truthfully, I've never made friends easily. I think it'll be a long time before I have people to go places with, so I'm going to have to adjust my thinking and get used to the solitude.
It's not really a bad thing, it's just not all it's cracked up to be.