Thoughts on Homesickness and Extra Puzzle Pieces

It’s been six months. Half a year. 180ish days, give or take a few. And something’s still not right.

Even after all this time has passed, I still can’t shake the feeling that I belong somewhere else. My mind, my heart, my loyalties still lie in another zip code approximately 150 miles due north.

I grew up in this town we live in now, a place in which I swore I’d never live again. It’s not that it’s a bad place to live by anyone’s standards, but it’s not home. At least not anymore. Not to me.

We left New Hampshire six months ago for my husband’s job and it was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make. We adored everything about New Hampshire—from the profoundly intimate friendships we formed there to the way people waved when you passed them on the street, even the grocery store we shopped in—and we thought it would be our home for life. But life, as everyone knows, is full of uncertainties and ours was certainly not immune.

When it came time to make the choice, we penned our pros and cons list, did the math, mapped out our finances. It made sense on paper: it was logical, reasonable; it had to be the right decision. So why does it still feel like there’s a huge hole through my heart?

Every place I’ve ever lived, I was ready to move on from when it came time. The town I grew up in, the city in which I attended college, the place where we bought our first home that seemed so rinky-dink and boring, a place to leave behind.

Then came our last home, where we finally felt like we belonged. Where I began to actually know people when we went out around town, where I had a group of mom friends who were always game for rolling five strollers deep on a walk through the park, where I could buy a bottle of wine with my groceries instead of smuggling my infant into a liquor store in a front pack. Everything fit. We fit.

I think I finally know what it feels like to be homesick.

On paper, everything here is perfect. We have family close by for the first time in a decade (which also means built-in babysitters,) my husband’s job makes sense in the grand scheme of his career, we live in the house I grew up in, which just so happened to be available since my parents moved away several years ago.

And, most days, it is close to perfect. If I keep my head down and remember to concentrate on the present instead of the past. If I fill our lives with enough distractions to forget the one we had before.

Little by little, we’re constructing a beautiful new life here. The puzzle pieces are starting to come together to look just like the picture on the box: the smiling, happy family with the white picket fence under that blue sky it took so long to build. If we keep focusing on that picture, I know we’ll be alright.

Until I spot that stray piece under the table that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere at all in this puzzle. Suddenly, the perfect picture we’re working toward feels incomplete and I’m left wondering how long until I can forget that I found that stray piece in the first place.

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Melissa Mowry

Melissa Mowry is a stay at home mom to 3 year old Chase and the slightly younger guy, Sam. She is the main voice behind One Mother to Another, which she started in July 2014 as a way to connect with other moms who felt just as lonely as she did some days. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Adam, and they live in their home state of Rhode Island. Melissa's work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode, Coffee + Crumbs and Mamapedia, among others. Her book, One Mother to Another: This Is Just Between Us is for sale on Amazon.
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4 Responses to Thoughts on Homesickness and Extra Puzzle Pieces

  1. whitneymaeve March 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    Thanks for your honesty

  2. Jessica Muller March 12, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    Wow, this reminds me SO much of how I felt about a different situation. It’s so hard when you just have that ‘feeling’ that won’t go away that something just isn’t quite right, huh? I pray you find peace, Melissa, whether it’s here or wherever God may bring ya <3

    • One Mother to Another March 13, 2015 at 10:44 am #

      Thank you very much Jess. It’s something I’ve been praying about a lot lately as I struggle for the acceptance of our new living situation and peace of mind that comes with feeling settled. I know there’s a plan in everything, which is why I’m not praying to go back to NH…I’m sure there’s a very good reason He brought us here 🙂 Thanks for your prayers and kindness, as always.

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