I wonder lately where my children will think of as home when they’re grown up. My boys were all born and lived in the D.C. area their whole lives until two months ago. Bridget was born in Boston and lived there for six months when she was a baby, but if you ask her where she’s “from”, she always says quite specifically that she was born in Boston and lives in D.C.
With my family in Massachusetts and Matt’s in D.C., we’re constantly leaving “home” to “go home”. And now we’re in England for at least two years, and we’ll make friends and memories that will tie us here as well. I hope we’re not confusing the children, making it harder for them to identify home.
For all the years we lived in D.C., I missed my people in Massachusetts: my family and the friends I’ve known my entire life. No matter how long I live somewhere else, no matter how many friends I make or how much I love wherever we are, that will always be home. I’ve lived in state of perpetual homesickness for over a decade.
I still miss everyone in Massachusetts, but now I also miss my friends and neighbors and the family we left behind in D.C. Living here in England, far away from all my people– my Boston people and my D.C. people– is just another phase of missing the ones I love and the places that feel familiar. It’s nothing new, but it’s just not easy to have your heart split among so many places.
Sometimes I think it would have been so much simpler if I’d never left Massachusetts, had just stayed there and lived there my whole life, because then all the people I love would be in one place and I’d never miss anyone. But leaving home brought me to Matt, and that was a step well worth taking. Joy and sorrow are intertwined in this life, and you can’t have one without the other.
Eventually we’ll go back to the States and then I’ll miss England. My heart will forever be divided among the places I’ve lived and loved and the people I wish I could just gather together and put in one place so I can have them all at once.
It’s hard leaving pieces of yourself behind everywhere you go.