Peoplesick

This is a new term I’m coining — and I want credit when it catches on — because it’s the best way to describe how I’ve felt this summer. 

I’ve been asked if I’m homesick, and the answer is no. If I feel out of place in New York, and the answer is no. If I’m lonely here, and the answer is no. But I do miss my family and best friends.

Except for the very beginning of college, this summer has really been the first time that I’ve gone so long without seeing family, friends from high school or friends from college. And I really miss them. Having friends visit at the end of the summer has been such a blessing because they came at the point when I needed them most. (I think the constant stimulation and newness of New York also makes it feel like I’ve been gone even longer than I have, and that makes me miss those important people so much more.)

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve had a great group of girls to hang out with this summer, and I’ve gotten much closer with many of them. I’m so excited and grateful for that. We’ve made so many memories, and I’m sure some of them will be lifelong friends.

But there’s something to be said for someone who’s known me more than just a few months. The comfort. The security. The ability to talk about things that happened years ago. The context that comes from knowing someone’s background. I’ve missed that. 

So I’m starting to be ready to leave New York, and a big reason is missing people. I’ve also kind of had my fill — for one summer at least. I’ve done and seen almost everything I hoped to. I’m ready to be done with a small apartment and big crowds. And I’m just plain tired. But, definitely, the biggest factor in my readiness to leave is being peoplesick. I miss my family and I miss my friends.

And it’s largely my fault. I’ve been so invested in New York City this summer that I haven’t been very good about keeping in touch. I’m a fabulous pen pal; you can count on me to keep up any correspondence via e-mail or Facebook. But with a time difference and me trying to fill my weekends and evenings with fun things around the city, I’ve been horrible about phone calls and Skype dates. A bit selfishly, I was more focused on New York than home.

In my defense, I think that’s because there was an end in sight. I had 10 weeks of being on my own, and after that I was going back to the people I love. So, in a way, I was able to take them for granted and put things on pause a little bit. And even without this summer I like to think that I won’t be like that in the future. I’ll be much better about keeping in touch. Wherever I move after graduation, I won’t be on a deadline to do things and I won’t know when I’ll see people next, so I have to think I will make evenings in for catching up more of a priority. I really believe that about myself.

But after this summer, I know for sure that I will do just that. I want to, and I need to. Because my family and friends are spread out and heading in different directions, and I don’t want to be peoplesick the rest of my life.

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