“Coming home” won’t always be a pleasant experience immediately, and I didn’t anticipate that truth happening to me. My feelings when I touched down back in Atlanta, after almost ten months of calling another city and other people “home,” were complicated and intense. I was afraid and sad – plus guilty for feeling such things. Why couldn’t I be excited to be coming home? Shouldn’t it feel safe, warm, and inviting?
I felt like I’d left the safety of the home I’d created for myself back in Newcastle. When I walked off the plane, I felt like I’d walked into an unfamiliar space – a space that was no longer mine and mine alone. That lack of “feeling at home” amplified my homesickness for the place I had created all by myself, just for myself.
My partner’s mother messaged me when I got home, and said, “it must be really weird having your heart in two different places.” And she was more than right. I am longing to return to the other half of my heart, with the other people whose homes I wish to continue to be a part of. I expect that longing will drag me back there, but not before I find my happiness in Georgia again.
Coming home isn’t always happy. It might be angry, sad, lonely, excited, lost, and scared before it can ever make it back around to being “happy.” And that is okay. Home is home because it opens its arms to those feelings, and holds you while you feel them. With patience, love, and warmth, home helps you heal. Home gives hope that the happiness you expected to feel when you get off the plane, will come in time. And until then, home will be there for you, every step of the way.
~ Jo Benshoof