I'm Not Leaving, I'm Arriving
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Student Life

I'm Not Leaving, I'm Arriving

Homesick? Never heard of it.

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On my first day of kindergarten, halfway through the school year of 2005, I shyly approached the doorway of my new classroom clutching my mother's hand. Before I knew what was happening, a classmate, identifying herself as also being named Sophia, grabbed my hand and led me into class, leaving my mother wishing for the last goodbye. Fondly, my mother recalls what I said to her at the end of that day when I proudly exclaimed at the dinner table, "Going to a new school is easy! You just have to make friends!"

One sensation foreign to me is homesickness. I have heard others lament of this strange illness while at summer camp, mission trips, and vacations. However, I have never experienced it.

I have often considered what it could be that has given me this immunity. I lived in five different homes in the first five years of my life, including London, San Francisco, and Tampa Bay. I could point to this and say not living in any particular location for any meaningful amount of time, I never experienced longing for one city or residence. Instead, I chose to look at what I did have, an intact and adaptable family unit, including my mother and father, and then eventually joined by my little brother. This sense of home traveled with me across the country and overseas.

I looked back at my childhood and recognized that the constant business trips of my parents may have also played a role. Once settled in my current home in Rockville, Maryland, both my mother and father frequently traveled internationally and sometimes for long spans of time. Whether they went to Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, or Ethiopia, they returned with smiling faces, open arms, and gifts. Even with infrequent calls or contact due to inconvenient time differences, "missing" them was not a sensation I experienced.

One may think this makes me cold or emotionally detached, rather I view it as my adaptability. My whole life I have been able to forge meaningful relationships with ease. Whether it be at summer camp, as a law firm secretary, or on an Apache reservation, I have never felt nervous about what I may be leaving behind, but have always felt excited about what I could be gaining.

I find this to be my most special and diacritic attribute: not my ability to detach, but my ability to attach.

My "immunity" has served me well, it has helped me travel across the country, it has helped me connect with people through service projects, and most of all, it has freed me from insecurity. It is my confidence in the relationships I have already formed, and the homes I have already made, that allows me to move about physically and socially.

What I know is that one must always walk through the classroom door, take the extended hand, because this is when meaningful moments can be made.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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