It’s been three years since I left my wonderful 10 year home in China, and I still miss it oh so very much. It seems to be odd, almost surprising, to some people that even though years have past, I still spend hours remembering life before moving here. I take it fairly negatively when people give me that look like “it’s been a while now, shouldn’t you be moving on?”, as if just because time has gone by I’m supposed to be “well adjusted” and no longer homesick of the place that once brought me so much joy. Regardless, the truth is that I probably should be moving on, but as much as I know I should be starting a new chapter, my fingers can’t seem to fully turn the last page.
The memories are so vague, and yet, so incredibly clear.
The 6pm sunset in the early days of spring and the sun slowly creeping up my window on frosty winter mornings.
The friday afternoons when we were all sweaty from running around in the playground and the quiet TV time as it thundered outside.
Waking early on a Saturday to go horse riding and playing ping-pong on a Sunday evening.
Buying ice cream for lunch on a nice summer day and walking the dog after dinner through the chilly night breeze.
When I reminisce about what once was, I get upset about what is.
I walk through a lush, shaded garden archway with a million photographs delicately hung from fresh green leaves, each one a beautiful memory I cannot afford to forget. I observe it and remember it – remember the sights and smells and sounds, the people and the place.
A pile of unforgotten pictures lingering in the back of my mind day in and day out over the course of the past years, calling out “Hey, remember me? I was better”.
Dancing clips of all that I ever knew surrounding my mind, a constant reminder that it really was a better time and place, but that there’s no going back.
But I’m grateful for these snippets and bits of my real home that I can go back to whenever I need to escape reality for just a slight sliver of time. I need all these moments to be a little more within my reach, and so I’m grateful, because yes, it has been three years, and yes, I do still very much miss home.