Last week, I was looking through the photos on my computer in order to find one to use for my last blog entry. I stumbled upon a series of photos from my second year of college of my friends, beautiful fall weather, and us smiling big smiles. A wave of homesickness washed over me. But when I thought about it, I realized that what I missed when I saw that photo wasn’t “home,” but just one situation I have really fond memories of. I do love fall weather, the smell of the wind in the pine trees in the Midwest, and leaves changing colors. I did have really good friends that year, though I haven’t kept in touch with all of them. I also really liked the life of the student, where I could mostly make my own schedule. But I wouldn’t say I really miss any of those things (except for maybe not having to wake up at 5:30am), and even if I were looking at that same photo in Chicago, I would still have felt that longing for the time that it was taken.
The majestic halls and skyscrapers of Chicago, from above and below
Living in Casablanca just feels like life to me, not life away from home. I have good friends here, I have a good job, I exercise regularly, and I cook the foods that I like to cook. I have something to do every weekend, and have people to talk to about anything I’m worried about. So when I feel sad, its not necessarily homesickness; rather, it’s just sadness with the idea that everything could be perfect somewhere else, particularly somewhere where my mom would cook me dinner.
This is my mom. Isn’t she pretty? She’s smart, too.
Last week when I was sick I called my mom and told her, “I’m home sick!” Which she heard as “I’m homesick!” But I know that even when I have problems here, going home wouldn’t solve them, it would just be an escape. I’ve thought about this a lot lately because some of my colleagues have mentioned being homesick. They express a desire to be elsewhere, not always home (although trips back home for the holidays are drawing near for some). It’s too bad that not everyone loves living in the country that I chose to live in (twice!), and that they haven’t discovered things to love about this place yet. But living abroad is hard, and sometimes the things that might have been clear at our “home” might not be clear elsewhere. Some day, we’ll look back on photos of sunny Morocco and feel a wave of “homesickness,” longing for the days we spent here!