Self-Exploration: When Home is Not Home

A home. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

As the semester comes to an end, most conversations are about the summer – “What are your plans?” “Are you going to work?” “Any fun travels planned?” “Aren’t you excited to go home?” Most people can’t wait to see their families and be home. But what happens if you don’t actually want to go home?

Growing up, I moved a lot. I lived in many places and met many people – which is pretty nice – but that also made me not get attached to places. For me, home is the place where I sleep most. Which means that, right now, William Jewell College is my home – and I’m not gonna lie – I like it quite a lot.

Being someone with different beliefs from my family’s, moments of disagreements happen a lot. And something I’ve noticed is that the longer I stay away, the less patient I am with them. So it doesn’t take long for me to want to get on a plane back to school. I like to think that some people are easier to love from afar, and that’s my relationship with my family. I love everyone, but calling them every once in a while is enough for me.

Yes, I do miss everyone in my family. And when I’m here, I do wish I was back in Brazil with everyone every now and then. But I’m also really happy here, even with late night practices, all-nighters, exams and the caf. My life is here now, so going where many would call my home is more like a vacation.

I do feel bad for not wanting to go home. I know my family misses me, they tell me that a lot. And I know they were kind of against me going to college in another country. But they also love me, so that’s why they supported my dream and don’t hold the fact that I’m away most of the year against me. But if they knew that I’d rather stay here, away from them, they would be heartbroken.

As my life goes on here, the more reasons I have to stay here longer. At some point, I might not go home at all, and my family’s reaction to that scares me. This summer I’ll be home for less than a third of the break – and I haven’t told my grandparents because I don’t know how they will take it. I also know that they fear so much that I’ll never move back home. Which is what I’ll most likely do, but they don’t need to know that yet.

I think one the hardest things for my family to understand is that I am my own person. I have my own life, and that life is here. My friends are here, my school is here and most likely my job one day will be here. And that means that here is home, here is where I want to be.

I’m now guest in my parents’ house, and I’ll probably see everyone in my family five/six weeks in a year. For my family, that’s not normal. Before I moved for the first time, we would basically have family reunions every weekend. But that was when half of my uncles still lived with my grandparents, no one apart from my parents were married and almost no one had kids. No, things are not like that anymore – even before I left for college things had already changed – but we would still get together at last once a month.

Overall, yes, I am kind of excited to go home for a few weeks. See everyone, eat some good food and just enjoy my home country. But I will also be thinking about my summer job and my next semester here at Jewell. And it’s okay, because as long as I keep talking to my family and don’t let them think I forgot them they should be just fine.

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