Sleep and homesickness


Sleep and homesickness

Another night and a good portion of missed sleep. Lately, I have been having trouble sleeping. It doesn’t necessarily help that there is a lot I could be worrying about, but what most haunts me other than things I have to silence anyways is missing home.

Home is not a place. I miss Chile, and when I remember (because remembering comes sweet now, it’s been almost 6 months home), it almost makes me reel from nostalgia and the beautiful pieces that stuck. I miss home more than I can quantify, and although that was still never a place except in leaving, it is so beautiful how the grass on the other side becomes all that much greener when I am back. There are so many things I miss, from the cachuflis and kisses on the cheek to walking by the coast alone and finding bits and pieces of something unknown as I walk around the places that not all gring@s see. I miss being home, because it was like learning to swim. I miss home because it was freedom and who doesn’t miss that? I miss home.

I love being here again, in Kansas. But I don’t think we should apologize for what we long for. It makes us stronger in a way to acknowledge it, to tip our hats to the beauty that was then long enough so that we can appreciate what we have now. It is not moving on; home stays with you long after you leave, if not forever. But it can leave you reeling if you are not careful and you have loved something very, very much.

Since about halfway through December I have done basically nothing. It has been the most gorgeous thing I could have never asked for. I sleep more than I need. I play with my dogs. I write, and I needed to write for so long like this, it’s like saluting a neighbor who you love. I have been slowly weaning myself off oversleeping like I always do before the end of the semester (so that it doesn’t hit me like even more bricks), and yet, I have had little luck yet because I’m kept up at night by beautiful memories. When I think, my mind runs the ship, I have to find ways to slow it down otherwise I would never rest. If I’m not exhausted, it does not come easy.

Now, I know that there are things I can do to help. I could exercise. It’s a little bit more tricky in winter, but I could make it happen. I could use my little $40 off Amazon mood lamp that is the best thing since fried rice. I could do just about anything that would tucker me out enough to pass out and not parse through beautiful memories. But my brain knows what it wants, and sometimes I just have to wait it out.

I’m going slowly though. I hope to be down to a normal 7-8 hours by January 10th, roughly a week before school starts up again and a week from today. I budgeted in a couple extra days on the latter half; I know how this game works. I’d like to be ready for the new semester, but I am naturally a morning person, and although I normally need to sleep like a bear in a coma after finals season ends, I would probably have already resumed the 8am start time if I did not keep flashing back to homesickness among gems.

I can’t help what keeps me up at night. I can do something about it, but right now, writing is the best something I can think of. When I am most upset and can’t sleep, I have always written. It’s whatever is somehow still relevant just needs to sleep so he can catch his peace and accompany you into slumber. It does not help that my heart is a little homesick for more than home, but no one gets to pick what or who they love, and I’m happy, even if I can’t sleep. I don’t believe in medication in this circumstance, I have only ever seen that lead to unresolved addiction. I believe in resetting my natural sleep cycle, and I’m sure I will consider that, in the morning. But it can be hard to miss home, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter what home is or who you are missing or what you can’t control or how terribly far away you are. I am 14 hours by airplane (ish). If I sent a letter now, it would take probably a month to get through customs. I love the internet and it is like crack if you let it be, but most of all, I believe in letting these things have their air like a towel hung on a clothesline; some things just need time. It does keep me up at night. But soon, I will be back to the daily grind, and regularly exhausted, and happy to be even 30 feet close to my bed, and home will seem a little bit more real because it won’t haunt me as I close my eyes. Until then, I will do my best to sleep and assess the situation as it comes. I’d so much rather be a person who crosses those bridges as she comes to them then regularly practices panic. It does us no good. I am going to go back to trying to sleep now, and I wish the same for us all, if at all possible.




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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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