I woke up this morning at 4am with a hole in my stomach. I don’t know why, it just felt so empty and then the feeling crawled into my chest. I could hardly sleep to begin with and had been incredibly restless for the three hours I had been laying in bed. I kept dreading the next time I’d turn over to check the time again – hoping that it’d be more than just another half-hour, but it wasn’t. Finally at 4am I decided that posting how “this is gonna suck when I have to be awake in 4 hours” on Twitter was a reliable method of venting. I quickly got a very concerned text message from Jesse asking me if I was having a hard time sleeping (he was clearly twatching hard lol – twatching = twitter watching for those who don’t know… )
We were texting for a bit when all of a sudden, my emotions got the best of me… (it would have been a great time for him to tell me to get out of my feelings), but it was almost 4:30am at this point. I was sleep-deprived, frustrated and anxious so it all came out. How I hated this stupid 6 hour time difference that made my days feel 10x longer because I feel like I have to live in two different time zones since all of my family and friends were back home. How my bed is too hard and my pillow’s too flat and the blankets are too stiff. How every time I go into the grocery store I’m incredibly overwhelmed by how little I understand German or the food here and have no idea what to buy. … (the list went on…)
Then I started thinking about everything I miss…
I miss my queen bed in Fuquay that always made me feel like I was drowning in sheets and pillows.. ( I always slept on one side curled in a ball.) I miss my grandparents and the house and the farm and those annoying roosters. I miss the pool and my cuddle-puppy-princess. I miss my grandmother’s cooking and my grandfather’s random stories and sitting on the deck to just enjoy the weather. I miss being able to see my friends and my sisters whenever I wanted. I MISS MY CAR (very materialistic, I know). I miss my boyfriend and all those moments we’d make each other cry from laughing so hard. You name it and I was missing it.
At 4am this morning, I felt like my life had been ripped from me and the tears just kept coming. My poor boyfriend, he was definitely trying to go to bed as I just kept texting him these long, drawn out messages about how I missed home and how I didn’t think I’d miss it this much at all. I didn’t get homesick at all while I was in the DR and I’d been looking forward to coming to Europe for MONTHS, you could even say YEARS, but here I was just wanting to be back in Raleigh cuddled up on my couch watching TV with him. I was a mess, to say the least.
Once I’d finally had a good cry, I laid in bed for awhile and said good night to Jesse since it was almost 11pm in the States (it was almost 5am here and bright outside since the sun rises pretty early). The birds were being incredibly obnoxious and nothing I did shut out the sound so I just dwindled in my thoughts again, but this time the tears didn’t come. I realized that in leaving Raleigh, I’d also found out just how much I love and appreciate my life there. All the little things that made me smile or laugh turned Raleigh into my home, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t find things to smile and laugh at here.
Germany doesn’t have to be home for me. I don’t have to love everything here, but I can learn to appreciate all the little moments that will make this trip great for me.
The struggle between missing home and living in the moment is just beginning, but admitting how I felt was the biggest step to finding my own happiness here. I’m back to being excited again, ready for this adventure while also carrying the best pieces of home with me in my heart.
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<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Alzebeth Roman and I am currently a Senior at North Carolina State University in Raleigh studying Accounting with minors in International Studies and Political Science. This summer, I will be studying abroad in Freiburg, Germany learning about the politics of the EU and its' neighbors. This is only my second time traveling out of the United States and my first time in Europe. In my spare time, I love service, reading, swimming, dancing, napping, and writing which I plan to do in my free time while abroad!</span></div>