I am perhaps homesick. I’m not unhappy, but I feel that I am ready to go home.
I didn’t realize that Spain would be so . . . far. I figured, I go to school for months and months, or I go to Spain for months and months – there isn’t that much difference, right? But I hadn’t counted on the foreignness. I miss home food, and home assumptions and worldview, and home methods of interpersonal relations (which is to say, quieter ones). I miss church that isn’t mass and classes that have more discussion than lecture, and I miss the ability to be able to say whatever comes into my head (for while these things arrive in Spanish, or at least turn into Spanish, rather more frequently these days, I still haven’t a clue how one says “lime green hedgehog” in Spanish, and am not liable to learn, short of looking it up in a dictionary).
I miss home more than I ever did my first year of college. I’m not sure why that is; I certainly came here with more acquaintances than I had at Smith. Perhaps it’s the culture I miss, as much as any specific people, or perhaps I got lucky at Smith, or maybe I was just too busy, between schoolwork and an entirely new social situation, to miss home. But the fact remains that, so far as I can tell, having carved myself a niche at Smith doesn’t make it any easier to carve one in Spain; it just gives me more people and more places to miss. Which is not to say that I haven’t carved a perfectly respectable niche in Spain. But it’s still kind of rough around the edges.
This was the first year I wasn’t home for Thanksgiving. Similarly, I’ve always come home for Christmas, and I won’t be doing that, either. It’s odd to watch Christmas decorations going up, lights being lit, holiday celebrations being held, and to know that by the time I get home, it will almost be time for Christmas decorations to be coming down again (at least, if you pay proper attention to such things; I have no doubt that that awful inflatable reindeer on the neighbors’ roof will remain there long after I’m back at Smith). I know that family are coming to see me, which makes things better – but I still won’t be home. I can’t even really pinpoint what home is; it’s not a house, or even a place; it might be a conglomeration of people, and there’s something to do with food, although food can’t be a terribly important part of it, because dining hall food would be acceptable . . . I guess that it’s this whole batch of things that I miss, that are different, that are something or other.
I’m sure that my Spanish would benefit from more time in Spain. But I’m really glad that I won’t be here until June.