I've traveled a lot in my life. I've been all over the globe and in some of the most spectacular cities in the world. Inevitably on my flights back from these excursions someone on the plane will say something about how they're ready to go home. They'll admit to having an amazing vacation but to also missing their own bed and the routine of their normal daily life.
I'm almost never in agreement on this point. I am always aware that home is more than a familiar bed, it's the place where all my responsibilities exist. It's where I have to run around with fifty balls in the air trying to keep them from crashing to the floor. Home is where the heart is but it's also the place where my bills are sent to. It's the place where I make parent-teacher conference appointments (that aren't always pleasant), it's where I need to worry about things like setting up playdates and doctor appointments and so on and so forth. It's not that I hate being home, I actually love where I live. And yet these are always the things that weigh on me on those return flights. Home is a wonderful but it's not "easy" and no matter how much running around I did on the trip I'm returning from it is almost inevitable that the trip itself was a relief and I leave that vacation spot with a certain amount of wistfulness.
Of course there are exceptions to all that. Trips I need to take out of obligation, to attend funerals, to deal with unpleasant business or family issues; those are trips I'm happy to return home from. But again, those are exceptions.
But here's the thing. On Saturday my son went to spend some time with his dad and his dad's family and now, all of a sudden, I'm homesick. I miss my son of course but I also miss my bed. I miss the sunny blue skies of California. I was at The Met yesterday, one of the most famous and amazing museums in the world. And yet I keep thinking about the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum Of Art). I miss my friends. One of them doesn't have her child with her this week and I know that if I was in town we'd be going out right now. I probably would have been at her house sipping a glass of wine or cocktail watching True Blood last night as we giggled and assessed Eric's nicely sculpted body. Her neighbor might have come over and we could have had a girl's night. It's such a little thing, a fleeting moment. And yet I'm sorry I missed it.
In other words, I'm actually homesick. I can see that I'm not an East Coast girl. I now know that if I hadn't left New York after my short stint at FIT to get engaged to a man in San Francisco I would have eventually left for another reason. It's not that I don't love New York. I do. I love the energy, and the people, and the international nature of the city. It's an amazing place to visit.
It's just not home. And maybe, just maybe that's one of the things you're supposed to get from a vacation: a deeper appreciation of home and for those who share it with you. Not such a bad thing.
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So Much For My Happy Ending
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