“A dark-haired woman looking off into the choppy sea stretching to the horizon” by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash

Or rather, I miss the toxicity of Home that, for so long, became a kind of comfort and familiarity. Now, in a new state for graduate school almost a thousand miles from home, I have the solitude that I’ve always yearned for. Yet, I am missing Home.

I miss my two younger siblings who I could always mess around with. I miss my cousins and their parents; the family gatherings; the gossip; the trips they’ll take without me; the fish feasts. I even miss begrudgingly cooking for my family.

However, I remind myself that feeling homesick is normal. It’s a process I must go through in order to become the person I have always wanted to become: empowered, braver, unapologetic. I have to go through the withdrawal of having had the security of my parents’ help with financial matters. I have to learn to separate myself from my family, even if in a parallel world they had treated me better. I have to start depending on myself and not others.

It’s scary.

I’ve been so overly protected my whole life due to my parents’ love and fear. They love us children by providing a home, food, and internet. But their fear of us failing or having any kind of misguidance before we hit adulthood, has kept us sheltered from becoming, in lack of better words, “street smart.”

Now, without even one family member or relative around, everything is intimidating. I used to be able to take my little sister with me to return items at a store, but I had to do it myself for the first time the other day. It may sound ridiculous or funny to some folx, but facing my social anxieties is a revolution.

Funny thing is, maybe I sound like a hypocrite when, for so long, I’ve preached about wanting agency and control of my life.

But, I am only human.

My feelings are valid, whether they be contradictory. Albeit, these feelings give me humility and appreciation, even if my family can be sexistly ungrateful.

Ultimately, I am growing, I am learning, and sometimes I will fail. I guess that’s what some folx call “living?” I’m not sure, but I do know that I can’t run away when I haven’t even started “living.” I can’t continue to run to the comfort of my toxic home — a paradox, I know. I can fill my mind with motivating quotes and articles, but if I don’t actually do something for and by myself, I will just be holding myself back from reaching my fullest potential.

So, here’s to facing my fears, my homesickness, and my soon-to-be failures.

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