Let's not pussyfoot around my blog absence. As always, it boils down to one thing:
I miss home. It's the holiday season and I really, really miss home.
I started to write about the tree we decorated, the packages I'm putting together, the amazingly impromptu Thanksgiving I had with a fantastic new Twitter-turned-real-life-friend who reminds me so much of these blog girlfriends. But at the end of all those half-written posts....my heart was just aching for home and I couldn't quite hit publish.
There's just so, so much to miss during these few weeks.
The hardest part about this year comprised of a marriage and a giant move...is that life will never be the same again. And in one breath that's exciting...because I'm starting my own story with someone I love. I'm a girl with a passport! A marriage certificate! And a frequent flyer member of gold status! Look out, world...I've got a husband AND I get two free checked bags when I fly United!
But aside from that (less than riveting) 10 second soundbite...comes the realization that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. You can tell yourself you'll be home for every wedding, holiday and birthday. That makes leaving so much easier. But eventually reality sets in. I'm talking the $2500-plane-tickets + 60-hours-round-trip-travel type of reality that makes you realize you can't start your own family of two and live 7,000 miles away without missing things from your old life.
Christmas just feels different this year. My Christmases past have been trees chosen by my family and cut by my dad. Snow angels with my mom, wrapping gifts with my sister to exchange on Christmas Eve. This year it's sand angels and a fake tree Gabe snagged from on base. Every gift has to be chosen + sent weeks in advance, and none of them will be given in person. And the lump-in-my-throat truth is that I don't really know when I'll see my family next. That's what gets me teary-eyed.
I'll go ahead and say it: I'm trying. I really am. But I'm less Christmas-elfy than usual.
I don't mean to sound like a Grinch, because there's still an average amount of holiday cheer in my bones...the Christmas tunes are on, the tree is up and I'm loving every glimpse of Christmas my friends have shared online, and in the few stores that acknowledge Christmas here in Kuwait. My only true Scrooge moment happened upon discovering that the twinkly lights I'd shipped from the states would infact blow every fuse in our apartment if I plugged them in.
Curse, curse, curse.
Expressing homesickness publicly always leaves me feeling guilty...like others will interpret it as ungratefulness. Trust me, I'm grateful for many things in my life. But writing honestly about this curveball year of my life is difficult. No, I don't have to work. Yes, I get to live in a foreign country and travel fairly regularly. Both of these things have their ups and downs. Ups: Lots of free time. Seeing the world. Downs: Lack of purpose. Missing someone no matter where you are.
But homesickness, I've learned, has nothing to do with ungratefulness. It's everything to do with missing the people, places and traditions that feel like a part of yourself.
Somehow, no matter how many ornaments I put on the tree or packages I wrap...I can't quite shake the feeling that I'm missing a tiny piece of myself this year.
Have you ever been away from home for Christmas? How did you fair?