I've recently been missing my Miami friends a lot. I mean, I always miss them, but for whatever reason, I miss them so much this week it almost makes me want to drop out of school and move back there just so I don't have to miss them anymore. I'd imagine the homesickness is so intense of late because it's Easter week, and pretty much all of my London friends went home for the holiday, resulting in a pretty lonely Easter for me.
But the point of this entry isn't to bitch and moan and try to earn pity. On the contrary; I hardly deserve pity if I'm lucky enough to have developed such close meaningful relationships with people that after 9 months I'm still affected this strongly by the distance. My point is, I can now see why some people think it's better to just not get close to people in the first place. I personally am not one of those people, but I see the logic. I lived in Miami for 6 years, which is a pretty significant amount of time-certainly long enough to build relationships that go beyond mere friendship. Arianne, Lucy, Manny C, Nick, Shana, Kevin, Monica, Manny (especially Manny)-these people were my family. Still are. But it's hard to separate from that kind of network. I naiively thought that maybe it would get easier over time, that we would grow apart, that after almost a year I wouldn't still want to call them every time something significant happens in my life-but that's not the case. I wouldn't trade these relationships for the world, but I am starting to understand how a less optimistic person than myself would choose to not build them in the first place so that when they inevitably separate they won't have to feel the pain.
Please don't misunderstand me-I would take a lot more pain than this as long as I got to keep those relationships. And my life is infinitely better for having them. And I'm not going to shy away from building those kinds of relationships here in London. But the pain I feel right now does give me pause-I don't intend to leave London anytime soon, but chances are it will happen eventually. Even if things do go as planned and I do my PhD here, what about after that? Academic jobs are so hard to find, it's almost definite that I'll have to move back to the US to find work. And by then, I will have been here 5 years. And I'll have to go through this separation all over again. I know most people fear starting out in a new place. They fear lonliness. They fear completely starting their life over from scratch. None of that scares me. What scares me is having to repeat this pain all over again with a whole new set of people, all the while still missing the old set no less than I did the week after I moved.
Like I said, it's not enough to make me shy away from getting close to people. But it's certainly no picnic, either.