We Won't Be Going Back


Homesickness is not reserved solely for a place we used to live. We can be homesick for the entire life we used to live; a life that surely had its share of worries and anxieties and difficulty, but, like childbirth the second or third time, that former pain has been completely forgotten. This is today's pain and it hurts so much more.

In Rising Strong, Brene Brown says, "...we can never go back to where we stood before we were brave or before we fell. Courage transforms the emotional structure of our being. This change often brings a deep sense of loss. During the process of rising, we sometimes find ourselves homesick for a place that no longer exists. We want to go back to that moment before we walked into the arena, but there's nowhere to go back to."

A fiction book (*) I read this summer had these similar lines that I loved and copied into my journal:

"She was overcome with homesickness, not for a place, but for the life she'd had just two weeks ago. Now she was completely unmoored, dislocated--literally and in every figurative way...it felt so unreal, it scared her."

Homesick for a place that no longer exists. Unmoored. Scared. I am all of these, and, revisiting the childbirth analogy, I have morning sickness too. I open my eyes each day not with expectation, but low-grade nausea and the reminder that there is nowhere to go back to. Not the home we lived in for 14 years and sold this winter. Not the elementary school years with much easier trials and temptations than my teenagers face now. Not even yesterday is available now.

Apparently, we won't be going back. I'm not really okay with that, but I'm going to keep working on it.

*Apologies to the author of the book quoted above. I wrote the quote in my journal, but nothing else about the book. I have read more than twenty books this summer and cannot narrow it down to offer a proper citation.

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