Editor’s note: These posts were written back when my brand name was Remodel Fitness. I’ve decided to include them here without editing them, in the interest of…well… transparency. 😉
The thing is, I’m not homesick for anywhere in particular. I’m just homesick for a sense that I belong somewhere.
When I sit down to write my transparent tuesday emails, I have a ritual. I sit quietly and scan my mind and body and heart- I search for the truest thing I can find, and then I write about that. It’s always different. Sometimes I know what it’ll be about all week, and sometimes it’s surprising.
This one was sneaky. Having spent the last few weeks in NYC, I’ve been feeling a very intense longing. I love it here. I miss my friends. I miss being able to walk everywhere, and having such close access to so many amazing people, places, and things. I miss the way all of NYC always seems to share one collective mood, and how that mood is influenced heavily by the weather and the season. But the thing I miss most isn’t anything tangible.
What I miss most is feeling like I belong here.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this in a woe-is-me kind of way. I know I could fit right back in if I wanted to; I could even move back here without missing a beat. But I don’t want to. And that’s the big difference. I feel how my heart has moved on, the same way you might feel when you see your ex, and for the first time since breaking up you can appreciate them from a distance, as friends.
It’s a weird feeling, to miss something that doesn’t exist. When I was 19, my family sold the house we grew up in and moved to Mississippi. I spent one summer completely homeless and emotionally destroyed, as my idea of “home” was forced from the concrete to the existential. I would wake up aching with homesickness, for a place that no longer existed. It was like missing a black hole. That same black hole now occupies the place in my heart where NYC used to be.
I have to say, despite the acute pain this is causing as I think about it, I’m also excited. Because grief means I truly loved, and letting go means I can move forward unencumbered. As everything shifts around and I face familiar old demons again, I’m aware of just how much stronger and more capable I am of handling them now. At 19, I wasn’t capable of missing a black hole with my sanity intact. Now I am.
I’m turning 30 this year, and I’m finally starting to feel like an adult. More specifically, I finally don’t consider “feeling like an adult” to be some form of giving up.
Being an adult has nothing to do with burdensome responsibilities or declining energy levels, like I thought it would. To me, being an adult is more about being better-equipped to do deeper healing. It’s about feeling like I belong in my body, and on planet earth in general, both of which were not true even five years ago. It’s about having the capacity to hold massive contradictions within me, without letting that throw me off my center. It’s about embracing the fact that I am a vast, complex, and ever-evolving creature, and so is everyone else.
Right now my heart is craving some attachment. That same attachment I once shunned in order to be free is calling a soft siren song in my ear. I want to belong somewhere specific again, and that’s ok. I want to feel “home” again. I don’t know what that means yet (although I’m forming some suspicions), I just know it’s not here in NYC.
Sometimes I imagine a future life in which I gather up my personal “tribe” from the various locations around the world in which they live, and we all live together somewhere in a colony of mutual support and awesomeness. (Full disclosure here: I have a very dedicated daily daydreaming practice.) Is this particular fantasy likely to play out? Probably not. But when I picture my “dream home,” it involves living communally with the 15-20 people I’m closest to.
This tells me a lot about what “home” really means to me. My sense of belonging is deeply rooted among humans. My family, my close friends, my clients, and the online community that I’m a part of (including you!) are where I feel the most like I belong.
What do you picture? When you allow your mind to wander freely to it’s heart’s desire, where does it go?
I’m very curious about your concept of home and belonging. Do you feel like you belong in your body? Do you belong in your city or town? Do you belong at the gym, or at your job, or with your family?
I encourage you to come on over to Women Who Empower Other Women, Unite! And share your experiences around home and belonging. Don’t be shy– the more you share, the more other women feel safe to share, and the better we all become. We want to hear your voice. You can sit with us. 😉
Unapologetically deep hugs, <3
Jessi Kneeland Get strong. Feel confident. Look amazing.
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