Being away from home for a prolonged period of time will lead to bouts of home sickness and today I had my first “episode” since moving to Mzuzu. I can’t explain it, it came over me all of a sudden this afternoon. Last time I was away it was nearly a year before I felt really homesick. Why it has happened so soon after leaving home is beyond me. I have a few theories.
My first theory is that in the past two weeks I have missed two major family occasions: my youngest sisters graduation and my cousin’s thirtieth.
|See there is a child missing!|
(Although the photo is very symmetrical now)
Two events that I won’t see again. For me, that is the worst thing about being so far from home. Missing those occasions that are important to you and your extended family.
My other theory is, the last time I was away I was in Australia which has all the comforts of home. I mean there is water and electricity everyday, cheese is readily available and there is a huge Irish community with Irish bars where you can go for your full Irish/pint of Guinness. Here, it’s a whole other world. Home comforts are few and far between and home seems ever further away than when I was in Sydney.
How does homesickness affect me? Well me being a misery guts I think about all the things I am missing, people, places, events. Even simple little things like going for a coffee with a friend and it turning into a 2 hour chat session are things I miss so much. Then after about 5/10 minutes of torturing myself like that, I get the lump in my throat where I know I am holding back a flood of tears. Now luckily today it didn’t get to that point today as a good friend, Kelly, arrived at my door just before they started. And as much of a drama queen as I may be, I won’t let myself depress others!
Dealing with homesickness is a whole other story. I have a few tried and tested methods
- Chocolate, wine, pjs and some crap TV/chick flick
- A mug of Lyons tea with some Cadbury’s chocolate
- Melted cheese on toast and a good book curled up in bed
- Listening to some familiar music. I love Don Stiffe’s Missing Galway
- A good cry.
- All of the above are good but nothing quite as cathartic as a good, gut wrenching cry.
Some people would suggest talking to home but I find that that can actually make me feel worse. It can make me feel like I am out of the loop with what is going on in people’s lives (generally because I am).So what am I doing tonight? Well I blew off Jillian (Jillian Michael’s workout) and am currently listening to Don Stiffe on repeat, in my pajamas and about to pour myself a glass of wine. Note to self, download some Declan O Rourke and Gemma Hayes for some more Irish music. Unfortunately I have no chocolate in the house, my block of emergency cheese is in the freezer and I have some work that I had planned on getting done tonight. C’est la vie
Quote of the day: Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin.
(for the non Irish speakers, that means "There's no fireplace like your own fireplace." i.e there's no place like home)