Being Apart From Your Family Never Gets Easier

Being Apart From Your Family Never Gets Easier

Surprise visits? Out of the question. Short, weekend getaways from schoolwork? Not even close to feasible. It's hard, but it's something I have to deal with.

In August, my family moved 3,869 miles away from my original hometown in New Jersey. We went from having a normal, American upbringing to picking up our entire lives and moving to Switzerland.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking, how in the world could that have happened?

Well, my dad's job takes us all over the place, and this time around, it was Switzerland. But how we got there isn't what matters; what matters is what happened once we got there.

As my family was moving to Switzerland, I was moving into college in Washington, D.C. We talked every day, as expected, but it was never easy. And it never got easy.

I've been at college for four months now and never has my being apart from my family been easy.

Everyone told me it would get easy, and I would be OK, which I am, but I don't like thinking about how far away my family is from me.

If you really sit down and think long and hard about it, it is terrifying to realize that the four most important people in my life (plus my two amazing dogs) are thousands of miles, multiple flights and one giant ocean away from me.

Surprise visits? Out of the question. Short, weekend getaways from schoolwork? Not even close to feasible.

It's hard, but it's something I have to deal with.

As a high schooler, I never thought that I would be close with my family. But something about picking up your life and moving miles away from your siblings and parents makes you realize how important they are to you; something in you just clicks and everything in you wants to stay home and never leave them.

I know it's not "cool" to miss your family, but I'm not here to be trendy--I'm here to be real.

My mom is my best friend, my dad is my biggest fan and my sisters are the ones who keep me going. And them being thousands of miles away (or even a few hundred miles away) is so incredibly hard for me.

And although it's hard, it has made me love and value my time with them even more than I already did.

Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to find a career that allows me to travel and explore the world while also allowing me to see my family often. But, for now, I'm living my college life, and casually counting down the days until I can see them again.

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.

Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

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Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.


Your Daughter

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This Is What Being Away From Home Taught Me About My Home

... It's ok to make plans with people besides your mom.


My home, for as long as I can remember, has been my safe haven. No matter how many arguments my family and I got into, I always knew my home to be a place where I could feel safe, at peace, grounded, and most importantly, comfortable.

This is why, when I decided to embark on a journey to Israel, 6,000 miles away felt like I was traveling into space. I felt as if I couldn't move forward without my mom by my side, reminding me everything is going to be okay. The relationship that my mom and I have is a special one, and knowing that I was not in close proximity to her created much-unwanted anxiety for us both. Knowing that while she may have only been a phone call away, that she wouldn't be able to come hold me if I needed her to, was something I really struggled with.

While I was away, I had hoped that my excitement for the trip and the adventures that were to come would keep me grounded and sane. Unfortunately, as the days went on, I became more and more homesick. However, I was able to learn some really important lessons in terms of the importance of my home, and sometimes the need to escape it.

The new friendships I made showed me that sometimes it's okay to make plans with people besides your mom (only partially joking).

The new foods I tried showed me that there are so many different types of foods that my chef of a mother hasn't even heard of.

The new experiences showed me just how important it is to step out of my comfort zone, even if doing so means I have to be 6,000 miles away from the comfort of my mom's arms.

There are hundreds of thousands of things that this trip has taught me, but it especially taught me that life exists away from your home as well. While it is natural to want to stay close to the things that bring you comfort, it is also essential that you allow yourself to grow.

I couldn't be luckier to have had such an incredible experience abroad, but I also couldn't be luckier to have been able to come home to a mom that was waiting with open arms and open ears.

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