Hard Goodbyes and Homesickness (6 Ways to Beat the Blues)
Forgot who I was did you? Sorry about that! A lot has been happening and I’m just going to start by going in chronological order starting with this post.
Last Sunday was my birthday! It’s been four years since I spent a birthday at home because I’ve been away at college, so my parents decided to celebrate with a bang! It was a combination birthday/farewell party and almost every single one of my favorite people on this planet made the journey (some a good distance!) to share it with me.
Now, I’ve never had just the one group of friends and spent all of my time with just them and no one else. I have a lot of different groups of people from various parts of the state and the country that I’ve never seen all together in one place so this was definitely an experience! I also realized that I know/am related to very few shy people, so there was never a worry that they wouldn’t mingle or get along. Never have I felt more loved than on this one day that I will always look back on through rose-coloured glasses. It was so incredibly special.
But with all of these people I love so dearly, came wave after wave of heart-wrenching farewells. You would think that by now I would be good at these; forever moving between my home and my university, moving from Arizona and leaving my best friend of 20 years there with visits only once a year. But leaving behind those you love is never easy, and being left behind is even harder. Whenever I am homesick or miss one specific person (or group of people) more than I can bear there are a few things I usually do.
1.) Contact them in some way. Maybe I’m missing them because a part of my day reminded me of them. So I like to share that with them and get a laugh out of it. Time zones make this difficult sometimes, but just the act of writing down what you’re feeling in a note, email, text, Facebook message, whatever, and making the decision to send it or not can help immensely to get those feeling out and purge them.
2.) If that hasn’t worked, I usually watch or read something really upbeat and funny. My favorite show to cheer me up in a hurry is Ouran High School Host Club, it’s on Netflix and is just a ridiculous and distracting laugh-a-thon! Any Disney movie is also a pretty good pick for me (especially Tangled)! But choose your favorite.
3.) Another method I try is reading motivational quotes and listening to really happy and motivational songs! Pintrest is my favorite method of getting quotes and I have a fantastic “Motivational” board I’ve tailored to myself and what pushes me to do my best and be a great person. My absolute favorite songs right now are “Let It Go” from Frozen (who can’t resist just belting it out at the top of their lungs?!), “Uncharted” by Sara Bareilles, and “Roar” by Katy Perry. But again, pick the ones that make you the happiest!
UPDATE (Jan. 26th 2019): Wow, young Kendra's music taste... Just... Wow. lol
4.) Sometimes when I’m down I’ll go running OUTSIDE. Seeing new places that are not the inside of my bedroom or the view from my couch does me a world of good and the physical exercise is great for releasing endorphins and letting off steam. When I was a member of my school gym I really enjoyed Body Combat classes and Zumba as well for something different. Also, there was a mountain close by my apartment that I really enjoyed hiking and the beautiful views and sounds of nature are balm to the soul. The ultimate happy place though was the horse unit at my university and horseback riding was my number one choice for zoning out and concentrating on something other than my anxieties.
5.) In addition to getting out, it helps when you hang out with people you’ve met in the area. Going with a group of new people to try something you are unable to experience back home is an adventure and one that never really gets old. Even if you haven’t met anyone yet, going out and reminding yourself why you made the decision to leave home to come to this new place is helpful. Remember, you came here for a reason. Don’t waste your opportunity.
6.) Cry. Sometimes you just need to, and afterwards there’s just a feeling of being refreshed and able to take on the next day. Sleeping after that is also really refreshing and rejuvenating. This is usually my last resort and done at night with a glass of milk and ‘Titanic’.
As for the actual physical act of saying goodbye… It’s hard. And there will be tears. And there will probably be some cold feet. I have a playlist and a few books (as well as copious amounts of candy and chocolate) all laid out and ready for me once I get past being that crazy girl bawling her way through airport security.
(UPDATE Jan. 26th 2019: I was totally that crazy girl bawling her way through airport security!)
I know someone from my interview who will have a layover in LAX and be taking the same flight as me to Japan, and from the sound of it Interacs will make up a good portion of the people on my plane. Get that excitement level up again and soon you won’t be homesick, you will be eagerly awaiting all the strange, exciting new adventures that await.