I’m homesick. There. I said it. I know you’ve been disappointed in the past.
…because I wasn’t.
You thought that to be unreasonable, insensitive, callous even. And maybe you were right. Maybe I did shut off some of my emotions for the past seven months.
Adventure called to me and I dove in. New experiences, new people, new cultures. Sensory overload. How could I be bored or even think of home?
But the flood gates are now open and I’m sitting in Phnom Penh surrounded by a pool of tears. Did you know it doesn’t even register most days that I live in Cambodia? …Because it sounds so absurd.
A year ago, I was settled. I had a committed life. A good life.
And going through the thousands of photos on my computer or asking about your holiday plans probably isn’t helping my emotional state.
…because I miss you. And I hope you miss me.
I thought everything would be the same when I got home. But it won’t be. I think that’s just a white lie travelers tell one another… “nothing will have changed but you.” It seems everything has changed. Every time we talk there is something new. An engagement, marriage, pregnancy. I’m missing key moments in the lives’ of those I love most. And for what? Travel? Finding myself? Happiness? Why didn’t I do this earlier in my twenties when I had the time? Then I could have saved a ton of money too and done the whole backpacker thing. (Ok, ok, stop laughing. Yes, I know, even at that young age I would have never survived that.)
I love you. I hope you know how much I love you. I’m effusive so you probably already knew, but I just want to scream from the rooftops how much I truly cherish, adore, and appreciate you. Because I am happy…I’m happy here…I’m happy traveling…but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think of you every day and count down until I see you again.
…but I’m scared. Scared to see you. I’ve changed…a lot. I know you have too.
And I want to hear about it. Those changes. I want to hold your hand and look into your eyes and hug you and listen to the million stories you couldn’t tell me over the phone or computer. It’s ok that you never came to see me like you promised. I get it. It is a long way and a lot of money. Life gets in the way.
I’m sorry I haven’t written more. Sometimes I don’t know what to say. Especially when you ask me for the millionth time why I took this journey. I don’t know. I still don’t. I tell you that every time. It is just something I had to do.
I thought I was appreciative of my life before Remote Year but I can tell you that I had no clue. I can only equate it to my father’s death. You don’t truly understand something of this magnitude until you’ve been through it. You try to empathize with a situation. You have the best intentions. But until you actually experience it, it’s just a hazy fog. Clarity comes at the end.
And no, I haven’t found my soulmate. Why is that always your next question? What does that mean anyway? I’m not Elizabeth Gilbert. Spoiler alert, did you hear she just divorced her beloved “Felipe” for her best friend?
Yes, I am wary of talking about romance now because of that “friend” who told me my writing made me appear like a desperate woman. Yes, that is why I don’t write about dating anymore. You know me too well. I’m tired of crying over it. Can we just move on? That was one of the most hurtful things anyone has ever said to me…and I still can’t decide if he thought it was constructive criticism of my writing (to be fair, we were are a writers’ retreat) or if he was just being cruel. Just drop it, ok? If anyone asks, my search is over. I don’t need another half. I am whole.
I love you, ok? I love you. Thank you for always being there and I promise we’ll talk soon.
Oh, and I hope Thomas Wolfe is wrong. I want to go home again.
…just give me five more months. Please?