Friday, June 18, 2010

Gilbert Love, Part 2 (Homesickness)

Can one be homesick for two places at once?  I'm finding myself in the strangest of situations: I'm homesick for London, and I'm homesick for DC.  Yes, I know this is strange: I haven't yet made a home in London, and I'm still in DC.  Let me try to explain.

I think I'm homesick for the home that I will have in London.  I'm homesick for the life that I will make there.  I'm homesick for the flat that we will have, the job I will hold, the friends I will embrace.  I suppose that this could just be called longing, but it feels the same way homesickness does - and what is homesickness but longing?

In the same way, I'm homesick for DC the way it was before I started this whole visa process.  I'm homesick for my wonderful job and my amazing colleagues, for comfortable mornings in the kitchen with Mom and Dad, for spontaneous happy hour outings with friends, and for the routine I took for granted.  I've talked before about how I feel I'm in limbo while waiting for my visa, and somehow that feels physical as well as emotional.

I'm going to quote Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed again here - bear with me.

"I was feeling - more than I had ever felt in my life, or maybe even for the first time in my life - homesick.  As in: sick for a home.  I longed like mad for a house, an address, a small private location of our own.  I longed to liberate my books from storage and alphabetize them on shelves.  I dreamed of adopting a pet, of visiting my old shoes, or living close to my sister and her family... "Make no plans," our immegration lawyer kept repeating, but still, I could not help myself.  I dreamed of plans.  Floor plans."  (92-93)

This isn't the first time I've felt like this.  I blogged about it in Paris when I was 20.  Uprooted, I said I felt then.  It's funny, I don't feel uprooted now.  I feel very rooted.  The problem is that I feel rooted in London - and I'm not there.

Like Gilbert, I'm being told not to make plans.  (The consulate was very clear when they told me not to book a flight until I knew for sure when/if I would have my visa.)  And, again like Gilbert, I'm making plans.  Floor plans.

Jon and John and Sam have been actively flat-hunting - I've helped as I can from abroad by relentlessly searching for properties online - and I may have something positive to report on that front very soon.  Stay tuned!

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