|Charlotte, NC 2010|
It's become more apparent to me that home is never a specific place. I have lived in North Carolina for my entire life, and when I was subletting in an apartment with a stranger in NYC, I never knew I could be so incredibly homesick. But it wasn't my brick house at the end of a cul-de-sac in Charlotte that I missed or the rundown apartment in Chapel Hill-- it was the people. New York is full of people... over 8 million to be exact. You would think that it would be easy to meet other wanderers (especially since many have experienced my personal space on the crowded subway), but there is nothing more difficult. It's scary how easy it is to isolate yourself.
It's also scary what anxiety and a lack of human contact can do to a person. When I first moved to the city I never thought that I would have issues "fitting in" or finding my way, but to my surprise, I had a few bumps on the way. Because I neglected my mental stability, my physical health began to suffer. I had high anxiety and became even MORE anxious when I couldn't figure out what was happening. My body couldn't handle the amount of stress and lack of joy and so it decided to manifest itself in a physical way. People never really think that your body acts in ways you yourself cannot control. An example could be pain. No one likes to be in pain, yet our bodies use this as a tool to let us know something is wrong. Not only is it one of the most useful tools to our survival, but it goes to show how even you own body can be out of your control. Therefore, what I have learned is that accepting pain or anxiety and taking these feelings as warning signs as well as blessings is how you move past a difficult time in your life.
Everyone is different, but I do believe human contact and love are two of the most crucial aspects of life. Do you think that the homeless man in the subway station gets hugged everyday? How about Barbara-Streisand-painting-Jesus-freak Christina Ricci in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? I'm going to go with no.
Keeping negative emotions and energy bottled up inside you can be destructive. There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself to work hard, but as my dad says, "Work hard, play hard." No matter what the environment, a home can exist. There are so many things wrong with my current living situation. I haven't had hot water until yesterday (thank Jebus I can take a long shower now!), my windows rattle when the F and G trains pull into the station down the street, my doors don't close, and the stairs might as well be a ladder. But you know, my roommates make it home. I can come home and talk about my day knowing that they'll listen and maybe even give me a hug.
I do miss my house and my school, but most of all I miss my family and friends-- my home. However, NYC is where I am now and I need to make the best of it. Things aren't ideal, but I'm learning and although I know more bumps are bound to come up, I know I will find my home away from home.