I am fine with being a weed if I’ve broken cement to grow.

I’ve been quiet for a while.  Turns out, a case of homesickness isn’t just for kids at camp.  I moved in early July and have been yearning for cotton fields, and Friday Night Lights since I left.  I also went from living completely alone in the coziness of a country town to getting a new dog, Tuck Finn, and moving three bedrooms smaller with my boyfriend.  It’s a tight squeeze with my main squeeze.

I’ve cried probably every day.

I’ve prayed probably every hour.

And in my living room there’s a quote from Abraham Lincoln sewn into a patchwork frame that says “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”  Whatever you believe in, believe in it fully is what I’ve learned these past few weeks.  I’ve lost myself in work.  My Mom asked me if “maybe, you should see someone,” and my friends have heard tears through the phone instead of giggles for about a week.

But today, I made a movement to change all that.  There is power in positive thinking.  I have become a walking – talking – bubblegum-chewing – self-help book.  I’ve decided I will no longer be sad.  I will embrace my new community and the new oldness of it.  I’m in my actual hometown again, but I feel homesick for the place I called home for the last three years.

Homesickness is a strange creature.  I imagine it how I imagine morning sickness.  It’s been named all wrong, it hits suddenly with the force of a locomotive, and it asks for no forgiveness.  One second I can be laughing at a joke and the next second I’m in tears, wilted on the floor of my apartment.  It’s not that I’m depressed, it’s that I feel completely out of place in my setting.  I’m a character meant for the South when I’ve been moved to the rain forest.  I’m also not a city girl.  I escape in big porches. I like to be surrounded by fields.  I want land. Expanse. Space to think and leave crumbs. Roaming space.  I only feel comfortable mind-roaming when I’m in a distance. Here, I can hear the creak of the stairs, the stomp of their work shoes on the wood outside the apartment door. I don’t own this place.  I am not this place.

Isn’t that strange that your “home”town can change?

And when people ask, do you tell them where you “grew up” or do you tell them where you grew up? I became an adult in LBG. I was a woman of strength.  Big girl panties ON THE REGULAR. Moving back to my hometown, I’ve had to find that woman again, and I’m on a new journey to track her down. It’s a bit of a scavenger hunt, but I’m picking berries along the way.

Today was beautiful. Both weather and company. This is about growing while thriving. Sometimes it’s hard to do both at the same time.  Now I believe flowers really do have an  expedition.

Bug Fest:

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Sparkcon:

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13 thoughts on “I am fine with being a weed if I’ve broken cement to grow.

  1. Claire 'Word by Word' says:

    I think it is healthy that you suffer from a homesickness from that place where you grew into an adult, it will always reside in a soft place deep within you and certain things will continue to remind you of it all your life, it’s what makes us interesting and human and you’ll put it into different words many times I am sure.

    I have used the subject “homesickness” in teaching English as a second language and was surprised to discover there is no French translation for it and even more surprised that from a random sample of 6 women in my class, when I described it, only one person had ever expereinced it! The rest had never left their home town and didn’t live far from their mothers, but a couple had husbands who came from elsewhere and recognised some of the symptoms, especially those that related to food (one was from Italy and another from Algeria) and not surprisingly, those men were GREAT cooks, because they missed the cuisine of their mothers enough to learn how to make it.

    I also had an interesting experience like you, when I moved elsewhere and then discovered how attached to it I had become after I had left it and then returned. For me it was London and when after leaving it for 3 years I returned for a visit, I was surprised how it felt like returning home and it was perhaps because of that growth and development that we experience independently, without really realising it at the time.

    Life is just one great adventure and a series of attaching and letting go and continual learning. Keep hanging out with your nephew Cassie and have fun!

    • Cassie says:

      I’m amazed that there is no word for that, but for some reason I think I knew that. I swam with a French girl in middle and high school named Claire actually and I asked her that once and she didn’t know what I was saying. And it surprised me then as it does now. I wonder if it’s a feeling that just didn’t need a name. I find that so interesting that certain places and languages have words that others don’t.

      I definitely understand how you felt about London when visiting. I’m going back to my old home in a few weeks and I know it’s going to make me happy and a little heartbroken. I love that you call life a series of attaching and letting go and continual learning. I’m going to write that in my journal.

  2. Bea says:

    I am so glad that you wrote all those feelings down on paper for all of us. I do know that you are missing your “hometown”. I love visiting Laurinburg. It’s quiet, tranquil, friendly, small, and spacious at the same time. I know that you will find your new “niche” in your old hometown, especially when you are going out to look for it. Rolesville, Bugfest, Sparkcon, family, church, friends, long walks in a nearby park, all of these will help you to see that your new place can be “home” too.

    • Cassie says:

      I think so. The funny thing is that I’ve lived in the place I moved my entire life. I moved away for a few years and miss that place. I’m hoping it will become normal, thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Meg says:

    “Tight squeeze with my main squeeze” is probably how most people would describe their first year of living with a significant other, myself included! Though it was wonderful, it was also hard. Most things in life are this way. I hope your homesickness begins to subside — I’m sure it will with time . . . and time spent out doing new things, fun things, different things. Though I’ve lived in the same 10-mile radius my whole life, but I can imagine what you are feeling. Good vibes coming your way!

  4. Megan Johnson (@writemeg) says:

    “Tight squeeze with my main squeeze” is probably how most people would describe their first year of living with a significant other, myself included! Though it was wonderful, it was also hard. Most things in life are this way. I hope your homesickness begins to subside — I’m sure it will with time . . . and time spent out doing new things, fun things, different things. Though I’ve lived in the same 10-mile radius my whole life, but I can imagine what you are feeling. Good vibes coming your way!

    • Cassie says:

      Thanks for the good vibes, girl! I need them. I had a great today teaching (it’s one day at a time as far as I’m concerned) and things are looking up I think. I love living with him, it’s just three animals and us feels like a parade. I’m so glad most of us have that connection though :)

  5. Geoff W says:

    Sounds like you’re making headway which is great! It really is what you make of it.

    I know I’ve lived in Boston for six years now and I still struggle not to call NC home. It’s where I grew up and as much as I deny it sometimes, it really did play an overwhelming part in defining who I am today. I’ve been gone for eight years total now and that’s scary, but it’ll always be my hometown (I claim the state), but Boston is home now and I’m slowly but surely building the life I want here.

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