The Nature of Missing

I’ve talked places before. The places I’ve been, lived, loved, stayed, left, and currently gallivant around. And what has made these places special. Or memorable.

Being a serious and chronic homebody, homes have always held a special place in my heart. I’m the type to miss streets, grassy knolls, coffee shops, and 25 cent ice cream. I miss the feeling of the carpet in my pre-teen room, the scent of our kitchen when I arrived home from a long (ha!) day at school, calls on the landline phone, dark nights on our deck, my mom’s cold coffee, all my backyards. And there are times when I yearn for those things. I miss them so intensely, it’s like someone I love has been tragically ripped from my life. Dramatic, I know.

And then I realize. That’s exactly why we miss. Because places and things wind themselves so tightly with the people who bring them to life.

My dad sent me a picture of our old house in Chicago last night, and my reaction was so visceral, I sort of choked. I had a lump in my throat and my eyes started to burn. I know how much he misses it (the picture was accompanied by an “I miss it,” and from my emotionally contained dad, that’s saying a lot), and that made me miss it, too. It made me want to jump back to a time and a place where we were all together. And even though, at the core of my sadness, I missed my family, I wanted to BE in that house. It was a funny partnership there, between missing people I love, and missing the places where I’ve loved them. Maybe that’s why people say “Home Sweet Home,” or “Home is Where the Heart is.” Maybe that’s why I’m always Homesick.

I’m sure this is how I’ll feel about New York one day (assuming I ever leave, because how many times have we all been told, “leave New York when you have kids!”). The dirty, filthy subways. The tiny apartments. The excruciatingly long work-nights. I just know how much I’ll miss it all. But not because I enjoy the New York smog, or the stench, or the closet-less bedrooms (good Lord, you can’t believe how difficult it makes life!). I’ll miss the moments, with the people. Riding the subway home with my boyfriend after a fun night out. Watching hour upon hour of girly (and frankly, pre-teen) television with my roommate. Having an unbelievably wide-eyed, fascinating, must-absorb-every-word conversation with colleagues. It’s those moments, with those people, that ultimately make a place so irresistible. So hard to leave. Especially a place like New York.

 

AG

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