When You’re 35 and Homesick

The dry, relentless heat that occurs in South Texas with the absence of the rain I have grown up with, ignites nostalgia each summer. When I think of the beach, I think of my family spread out, playing football in the sand, building castles, making memories I won’t be in. With the exception of my oldest sister, all of my immediate and most of my extended family live in Florida. I long for my family most during the summer, when school-year commitments and steady play dates slow down and I miss the saltwater shores of my youth so much it aches.

This homesickness exists despite the decade I’ve lived elsewhere and has only deepened since I’ve had children. Why do I crave the familiarity of “home” when I’m busy building my family here? My attempts to bridge these worlds fall short of my own (too) high expectations. Because as much as I try, as many times as I pack my three kids onto a plane and make the trip to my original home, as often as I FaceTime for gatherings, I simply cannot be there for everything. I miss birthdays, showers, baptisms, t-ball games, and the holidays, when plane tickets for five are over our budget.

Exploring Enchanted Rock

This FOMO can drown me if I allow it to. For some time, the intensity of wanting to move kept me from building a village right where I am. It became imperative that I make peace with living far from my family. Luckily my thirst for my home state does not equate to despair here in Texas. I realize that despite the depths of this never-ending homesickness, this is where I am and where I will raise my children.

I have lived in San Antonio for a while now. My three children were born here, and I’m surrounded by loving friends and a few members of my husband’s amazing family. I have dear friends who feel like family. When an emergency strikes, I have someone I can count on, which is a blessing many people don’t have. I am IN LOVE with my daughter’s school and staff, and the thought of replacing her 11 medical specialists alone is a reason to stay put. My children have many bonus grandparents, including their great aunt and uncle, who spoil them rotten, and a second cousin who is always willing to help out.  In Texas, I have my irreplaceable tribe.  

We also have traditions here I wouldn’t have anywhere else. I’m amazed at the rich culture and intend to explore my city more to help me emotionally invest in my “new” home state. If you feel overwhelmed with how to become acquainted with the Alamo City, here are a few good places to get started: San Antonio Summer Guide, San Antonio Botanical Garden, and Top Places in San Antonio for Children with Disabilities to Have a Blast. Honestly, we couldn’t live in a better city. We have an abundance of passion and kindness, city and country roads, exemplary restaurants and hidden BBQ gems. I’m putting forth effort in letting go of the envy that once consumed me when my family is all together without me. I make it to a few college alumni events in town and occasionally wave at drivers with Florida plates (especially if we’re from the same county). We aren’t making the memories I dreamed of when my siblings and I were younger, but I am banking on some magical ones when we do find time together.

Ultimately, I’m not sure if I’ll ever let go of my dream of living closer to my family with the sand between my toes, but I am certain that if I did move there I’d probably just be writing about how much I miss Texas.

 

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3 Responses to When You’re 35 and Homesick

  1. Mr. Ahern June 28, 2018 at 2:06 pm #

    Incredible writing-Funny, witty, great passion. Can’t wait for your first book.
    Your Biggest Fan

  2. Ginny Haygood June 28, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

    Very honest and heartfelt article Danielle. Very well written as always and I applaud your Recognition of the wonderful friends and family with you there. The sand between your toes is a forever love. Enjoy your time and fun with your siblings as you make more memories to look back on through the years. And visit the sand whenever you can!

  3. Amanda Bennett June 25, 2018 at 7:38 am #

    Glad to be apart of your tribe friend and I am thankful y’all are here in Texas!