Standing with my friends in Atlanta, I didn’t know what happened to the last six months of my life. It seems like I was just here, but in reality, everything had changed in these past months, which seem like longer. I looked at them contemplating never going back to New York, because my body was breathing and moving easier here.
Everyone loves to tell you how they understand what you’re going through adjusting to New York. However, I personally don’t want the empathy or sympathy. I want someone to say, “You’re right. It sucks. The work hours feel long. You have a hard time maintaining your relationships with friends and family in a separate part of the country. And the people you try to befriend here are usually hard to schedule plans with. (Insert deeper personal advice tailored to me based on knowing my life).” But every time I tried to have one of these conversations with someone, I wasn’t pacified. I felt more alone.
But here I was in Atlanta – effortlessly myself by being surrounded by this familiar group. Very different from the constant striving I have to put forth in every single minute of my New York life – when I’m not laying in my bed enjoying Hulu.
Atlanta seemed so simple and joyful. I yearned for this familiarity in New York. While I was playing catch up in some aspects of my friend’s life, I knew by the end of the weekend I’d be back integrated.
My yearning for the familiar increased as Thanksgiving in Pensacola waited for me. What I know for sure about myself is that I section off my feelings to focus on the positive and current. To focus on home is to think of everything I’m missing, such as my nine year old sister as she develops into her own person, sitting with my grandmas as they tell me stories or visiting my father as we make up for lost time. I oddly pride myself on not getting homesick, but the Dictionary.com definition – sad or depressed from a longing for home or family while away from them for a long time – summed up my emotions as I told my mom I missed her.
I hugged, danced, hugged and sat with my family more than I think I ever have in my life. As I enjoyed these moments with them, they helped rejuvenate me by reminding me of the hopes and dreams I signify for my family while still being my own person. As Maya Angelou said, “I come as one; I stand as 10,000.”
“I come as one; I stand as 10,000.”
I sit in the Atlanta airport ready to take one in the next six months. I don’t quite feel the strength I know I’ve gained over the last week yet, I know it’s there waiting for me when I land. Until then, last week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta waits for me.