May 26, 2015
One of the most important things in life is family and living apart from them can be a real killer.
Whether it’s due to a new career, love or the need to live somewhere where the sun shines for more than one day, sometimes we have to live apart from those we hold dearest.
Taking the plunge and making that break can be both difficult and liberating and here’s some experiences and feelings that only those of who live miles from their families go through.
- Feeling left out of family events
Oh look, another party on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #family that you couldn’t attend. Why do these things look far more fun than you remember them actually being? Even your rarely seen aunt’s drunken behaviour which borders on the indecent is strangely missed.
- Forgetting what your relatives sound like
You used to be able to hear their dulcet tones when you read their text messages. Not so much anymore.
- Phoning for no good reason
You need a boost from an unfamiliar voice but you have no real, significant news to impart. It doesn’t matter, you’ll hang on the phone for as long as possible, even resorting to asking them to repeat childhood stories you’ve heard a million times before.
- Birthdays being forgotten
You used to get so many card and presents. Now the best you can hope for is to get into double figures on the insincere Facebook ‘happy birthday hun, hope you’re well’ messages. And even those were prompted by Facebook reminders.
- The changing appearances
Since when did your brother have a beard!? So much changes when you’re apart that you almost walk past your family when they meet you off the train.
- Anger at people’s family complaints
‘Oh God, I’ve got to go to the parents for Sunday lunch,’ moans your colleague, to many a sympathetic sigh from her peers.
You’d love nothing more than to hear your grandparents bicker, your uncle insist that we do a few quizzes or have a game of Monopoly and to taste your mom’s roast beef dinners this weekend. Your urge to tell your colleague to pipe down is difficult to resist.
- The pain of family leaving after a visit
That went by so fast. The first 15 minutes of seeing them again are pure bliss. The rest of the time is spent dreading the imminent goodbye again. As for the goodbye itself…*sob*
- Holidays from work are always family related
You have learned to accept that no holiday you book can be just to chill out. You pretty much HAVE to use it to see family. Who knows when the next chance will come along?
- Getting a hard time for not keeping your family up to date
You used to tell your family every little pointless thing that happened but now you have to pick out the important bits for those phone calls or Skype chats. And sometimes you will drop the ball and they will hear news from someone else – cue a lot of ‘oh thanks for keeping me in the loop…’. *SIGH*
- Your own allegedly changing accent
‘Oh, you’re picking up a very Southern accent!’
- The homesickness
When you need a hug with a family member and you can’t have one, you can either toughen yourself up and get on with it, or curl up in a duvet with junk food and feel miserable. The latter option usually wins.
- Friends who make kind gestures to make you feel at home
Bringing in a pack of shortbread for your Scottish friend will mean more than you will ever know, Londoners.
- Friends become your family
You find yourself latching on to your mates as they are now officially your loved ones. They will have to accept that they have no choice but to adopt you.
- You learn to appreciate your own company
You learn surprisingly fast how to enjoy your own company. It’s never the same, but it’s an important survival skill for those who couldn’t feel further from their families.
- You start to miss the bad parts of home
While you lived there, you moaned about how boring it was, how everyone knew everyone else’s business and how frustrating your suffocating family were. Now you’d go back in a shot.
- Questioning life choices
You often wonder if you did the right thing in leaving home for this new venture. But never forget that the miserable days pass and there was a reason you moved in the first place.
And you can never forget that no matter what happens, there is always a home waiting for you. And what a comforting thought it is.