Missing

Volleyball team my senior year

If my high school English teacher taught me anything, it’s that nostalgic writing is inane – sappy, full of clichés, and not worth my time. It’s hard, though, because I’m a nostalgic person.

I miss things a lot.

Certain things can bring me back to a specific time period – Edy’s frozen yogurt makes me think of my senior year of high school, the smell of cheap beer reminds me of the time I turned 21 (my first time in a bar, mind you), Christmas lights bring to mind decades of Christmas past…you know what I mean. All it takes is one bite, one smell, one glimpse…and I’m off thinking, reminiscing, even pining for that time in my life. I forget the hard parts: the nights I spent homesick, how I didn’t feel “good” enough, the people who weren’t so nice to me. I focus instead on the happy memory, the one that stayed with me.

So, right now, pardon me, but I miss Spain.

I don’t necessarily miss the country itself – the bureaucracy, the flat lands of Castille, the way every trip to another city involves visiting one of three things (a church, a castle, or a bridge), but I do miss it. Just like I missed here when I was there. I wonder sometimes if, because I’ve chosen a somewhat international life, I will always be missing someone or something. I think the answer is a resounding yes. My life will be full of the words “I miss you” or, alternately, “Te echo de menos.”

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After all, every email I write to Mario when he’s away contains those words. Every phone call is peppered with little moments of oh, how I wish she/he were here instead of there. I will go out with friends and spend my time thinking about whether he would or would not like this drink/this food/this place/these people. Not that I’ll ever really know, but I think about it anyway.

When I was in Spain, I could only remember the good things about home – the convenience of driving, the friends and family, understanding everything that was said, not feeling like a foreigner. I forgot the fact that driving everywhere makes me chubby, that speaking and improving in Spanish leaves me with a feeling of accomplishment, that feeling like a foreigner can sometimes be fun.

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No, I don’t want to go out and see the bull. Thanks.

So, forgive me if you will. I’m a bit nostalgic these days. And always.

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You can come back now.

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Or I can go there. Either one.

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11 comments

  1. I hear you loud and clear RE: nostalgia. And especially about romanticizing memories. Lately I haven’t been homesick in the traditional sense of the word…. more like hostile towards Spain/idealizing certain aspects of life in the U.S. It’s a trap I always fall into, because like you said, when you’re in place X and not place Y, of course you’ll echar de menos place Y. And vice versa. I suppose it just comes down to appreciating what you’ve got where you are, but of course it’s hard not to miss what you don’t have.

    And happy holidays to you too! I’ll wave at Indiana when I’m flying over.

  2. :( I know how you feel, and like Lauren says, it is so easy to fall into the trap of idealizing the other country. I do it too! I think the more we travel and experience other things, the more difficult it becomes to be 100% satisfied anywhere. Just remember the great things you have around you at the moment and think back to your Spain memories with a smile! (And go into your kitchen right now and think about how big it probably is compared to my tiny one here in Madrid… give thanks lol!)

    1. Isn’t it odd to say, “Like Lauren says” when you are also Lauren? Haha.

      But yes, I agree. 100% satisfaction? I don’t know if it’s achievable because they are so many good things in Spain that I wish I could have here and vice versa. But I aim to be content.

  3. I definitely know the feeling. I suppose we wouldn’t appreciate things as much if we had them with us always. And we’ve gotta be grateful for having things/people in our lives that are so amazing that we miss them so much!

  4. I totally relate. I miss France a lot and I’ve only been back for two weeks. I imagine it’s a lot worse for you having been back much longer. Stupid falling in love with foreigners, that surely doesn’t help. It’s just really weird to be back. But like FBF says, we’re so lucky to have two places we can call “home.”

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