Moving from LA to Berkeley is quite a big distance even though both places are within the same state. California can practically be its own country if it wanted to, but this is beyond my point. Being able to miss someone is not defined by a long distance. All it takes is a moment alone.
This was something I had realized when I moved to Berkeley to go to college. Now you might be wondering that this blog is going to turn into a movie trope story about being grateful for being with your loved ones. I have to admit, it is part of the story, but not all of it. This is more of a revelation.
You see, I had always prepared my mind with the fantasies of being at college. Living in the dorms with roommates. Arguing with friends during late nights over something stupid. Spending the crisp mornings grabbing a drink before I head off to a class that I would potentially nap in. Being my own person and making my own decisions. This was all a dream for me.
When I got to university, I did exactly all of this. For the first time, I felt so liberated in many ways. It was like the weight on my shoulders had changed to something new, something better. As much as I hate to admit it, this dream come true was also plagued by moments of solitude where I had started to drown in my not-so-happy thoughts. I realized that part of the reason why it was happening was that I missed my own family. This was weird for me. I knew it would happen because it seemed like an inevitable situation. But, it was still very weird for me. I could not explain why at the moment.
Then Christmas break came. I was going back home for the first time since moving and I was excited about so many things. To be back in my own room again. To eat my Aunt’s cooking, which nothing in Berkeley could ever really compare to. To drive! I could not believe I was excited to drive because it was something I was always nervous about. I mean imagine having people’s lives in the palm of your hands.
When I finally reached my childhood home to meet my family, all my feelings of excitement had vanished and all I was left with was my thoughts again. Everything was weird and strange. Given, it was nighttime and everyone was preparing to go to bed, so it makes sense why everything was hushed and quiet. Still, things felt strange. I ignored the feeling for the time being and things were great for a few days.
Suddenly, I had realized the ‘why’. It was weird that I was missing my own family because they were the very people I was trying to get away from. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my family. It’s not like I could ever really stop. But, I also cannot change who they are and the troubles that I have gone through. Yes, I know this feels like an excuse for me to rant about my family life. And I’m sure everyone has their own life and family drama that takes over a part of their life. But, this is more than that. It was like I had a new pair of glasses that made me see my situation and my family for what it really was. All the things that I hated about them suddenly became things that I understood.
Moving to college and coming back had made me grow up and see things differently. They are just people, like you and me, that act based on their experiences. Everything felt smaller after this revelation. It is so easy to get caught up in your thoughts and emotions that it blindsides you. This may be the result of our self-protection, but it is nice to take a step back and look for once.
Be grateful for your family and friends (but only the really good ones). Or don’t. This isn’t really up to me.