Not even an hour after rolling out of bed, I am on the phone, talking to my mom, who has gotten up at 6 am to get on our daily phone call. This is our routine; eat, talk, go off to classes, and talk again.
For the entirety of my senior year of high school, I could not wait to finally leave home and be independent. I thought that my independence was defined by the idea that I would finally be on my own, making my own mark in the world without the word of my parents affecting my decisions. I cannot believe how wrong I was.
From day one of college, I knew I was going to need to talk to my mom. From calling about all the new people and things I was experiencing, to sending me pictures of my dog Sadie (who I miss very much), I had to come to terms with the fact that being in touch was something I not only wanted, but needed. Before I got to Madison, I believed my independence was solely defined by leaping off the cliff into adulthood. I failed to recognize that instead of a jump, it is a slow, often rocky, climb down.
As many college freshmen may agree with me on, there comes a time in the semester where missing home becomes an intense feeling. Unfortunately for me, my homesickness has always tended to set in early (like the second-day type of early). My strategy for combating this was to recognize how I was feeling, and talk to the people I know best. My best friend from home is my mom, and acknowledging this has helped me so much in the last month.
Before this past Monday, I was not going to go home for Thanksgiving. Airfare is ridiculous, and I have family members in Milwaukee who would have loved to have had me for the holidays. I thought I could tell myself not to listen to my heart, and to make the practical, convenient choice. When you long for home and familiarity, no amount of reasoning, logic, and practicality can convince your heart that it feels otherwise. Trusting yourself in this regard is essential.
I have now started to accept that my home is actually where my heart is, no matter how much I wanted to leave. The fun things I am doing, the people I am meeting, and the classes I am taking, no matter how much I enjoy them, will never surmount the little hole left in my heart as I plow forward into adulthood. I am fortunate enough to know that while my life may be changing, even though it is for the better, I will always have a place at home, and a family who shows me unconditional love.