Ducklings: Being Homes-Sick

As long as I live, I’ll have a trail of homes to be sick for following me around like so many ducklings.

Where I grew up, where I went to university, where I studied abroad, where I started my adult life, where I had my first real job, the list will grow as I keep moving to new places and forming attachments there.

No matter where in the world I am, I miss somewhere. I miss something. I miss someone. Even when I’m having the time of my life, there are moments of sadness and feeling like everything would be just perfect if only…

So I’m sure you can imagine it’s not a pretty picture when I’m not really having the time of my life at all. When I’m angry and stressed and frustrated, all I can think about is the other places I haven’t belonged, and how much I’d rather be in one of them.

I’m very used to not belonging, the feeling that I ought to be somewhere other than where I am now. It no longer confuses me or cripples my life in a given place, for the most part anyways.

But the thing is, I love being away from home. I love making up a new home as I go along, settling into new rhythms and habits, and adjusting to a place so that I belong there as much as I ever belong anywhere. In Korea, that meant I was lost without my rice cooker and I ate enough ssamjang to stun a yak.

In Malaysia it means getting inordinately excited about my ability to order a glass of iced tea with my breakfast (even though I haven’t a clue how to pronounce the thing I’m eating). It also means waking up at 7 every morning (something I haven’t done reliably in ages) to start the day before it gets unbearably hot.

Another place, another set of habits, another duckling following me around. Another home to be sick for.


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