I have just realized it’s been a while since I last wrote about my life experiences. I focused a lot on reflections and thoughts inspired by my summer adventures, but I actually didn’t mention anything about where am I going with my life. Truth is, I don’t even know that well. Every time I have the impression I finally have a certain path to follow, the Universe takes care to show me that there is another plan for me. I started to love this uncertainty. It makes me realize how important it is to just be mindful of the present moment, and do your best to live it fully. The rest will follow naturally.
To sum it up, I’m back in the States for my sophomore year of college. Reflecting back on one year ago, this year started so much differently. If last year I was the most excited person on Earth to start college, discover USA, and get involved in as many things as I could, this year I am much more insightful about anything that happens in my life. I guess that it is some sort of sign of maturity. I am not rushing things anymore, not forcing friendships, using my time wisely, putting effort and energy in what is important for me, and being more aware of who feels like home and who doesn’t.
What do I mean by that?
Compared to last year, this year, from the moment I stepped out of the airplane, I felt home sick. Then I realized I have never felt home sick in my life. When I was in middle school, I was going on four camps per summer. When I was in high school, I was always having trips with friends. Freshman year of college and all I cared about was discovering the new environment I was in. In all these adventures away from home, I never really felt home sick. But now, for the first time in my life, I feel it. I miss my family, friends, Bucharest’s streets, late night drivings, spontaneous trips to the seaside, dancing until sunrise, and all the other memories that made my time home amazing, and that I took almost for granted for such a long time. I slowly understand the feeling of nostalgia. Realizing that in a blink of an eye I became a 20-year old working on my own life, distancing myself (without intention) from people that used to be my all quite recently, brings me sadness reminiscing over beautiful memories. That hit me hard, and I have to say that it’s not easy to move on with life sometimes, even if there are (for sure) better things waiting for you. However, this summer I found my home team. That is, according to a quote I couldn’t love more:
“(…) the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It’s the people who, near or far, know everything that’s wrong with you and love you anyways. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they’re at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.”
They are one of the reasons of my homesickness. These people were my all this summer. I have never opened my soul to a person the way I opened to them. I have never felt more raw, natural, and true with a group of people. We shared a lot together: late night thoughts, dance parties on the beach, watching the meteor shower, sleeping in tents, discovering deserted beaches, talking about our spiritual lives, and just a really good energy overall. How can you not miss home when you leave something like that behind?
Going back to what I was saying before, this experience made me more aware of people who feel like home and people who don’t. That is, people who are on the same frequency I am or not. I have always been the social butterfly of the group, talking and laughing and being so extroverted. Now, being more in tune with my energy, I realize how easily a person can drain it from you if you don’t set the right boundaries, so I tend to choose wisely the interactions in which I get involved. Basically, finding the people who feel like home, who feel safe.
This mindset helps me a lot in my journey from now on, as it helps me conserve my energy for things that matter solely for myself, things that will make me grow as an individual. With such an attitude of discerning who is right for myself or not, I can move forward in life with much more confidence and power. I’m experiencing this right now.
I encourage you to do a little experiment that will help you realize who are the people that make you feel like home. For one full day, from the moment you wake up, get in tune with your inner self. How? Not checking your phone for an hour, taking 10 deep breaths, stretching, appreciating the sun light, maybe journaling and focusing on the tasks in front of you, for yourself. Good. Now that you have an internal focus, continue your day by paying attention to the emotions you have in your body while meeting different people. Do they make you feel happy? Calm? Stressed? Safe? Grateful? Anxious? The moment you move your attention to the way that person makes you feel, you are more likely to understand who is part of your home team or not, and what are the boundaries you need to set when interacting with them. In this whole experiment, being self aware is the most important part, as it will make you forget about the idea that you need external validation, making you stay true to your emotions. When you are confident and aware of your value, you can discern who should stay and who shouldn’t, because you will not rely on other people to validate your emotions, ideas, opinions.
This being said, I wish you the best of luck in finding your home team, as well as in understanding that sometimes we need to set boundaries to protect ourselves. It’s a long process and it needs a lot of self-awareness, but you are the sum of the people you are surrounded by. Choose wisely.
As about my homesickness, I’m happy I’m experiencing it. It shows me there is something, in this world, that means so much to me, and that is built through a lot of love. I love all my close people back home, and it’s good to remind myself that distance is just a notion, and is not influencing in any way the love and friendship I built until now.
P.S.: From now on, I am going to post every Sunday, so stay tuned for my following adventures, thoughts, or lessons.