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   Jun 04

The Hurricane of homesickness!

i want to go back

“She was sitting sad on a rock, trying to get rid of her legs. She was whispering to the sea, “Home, sweet home…”. She was once a mermaid, with a great life dream, to become one day a human. And when her dream, came alive, soon enough she wanted her tale back… the home she knew best.”

We want something so badly and when we get it, we don’t want it anymore. They say, this is our human nature.

I say, this is a very wrong design we are, my dear friends.

 

PART I

Walk away from what does not make you happy.

Someone told me few days ago, “Walk away from what does not make you happy”.

Since then I keep thinking of those words.

Walk away, walk away…

Go back, go back…

Find yourself again, be that happy woman again…

Well, walk away from what does NOT make you happy, perhaps it sounds pretty easy thing to do, but it is not. It is not easy to walk away always, especially if you have invested a lot of where you are today. Especially if you’re new life path, had a great impact in a lot of people you love. You changed your live, you changed their lives too. When family is connected, like my family, if one member leaves, if one member is in pain or joy, everyone feels it, all of them shares it.

Homesickness, a terrible situation. I wonder if this thing it’s a decease. It almost drive you crazy. It cuts you inside like a knife, it cuts you in half. You want to walk away and then like a magnet it hold you still where you are. You can’t move, you can’t decide where is better to go.

And then you ask yourself,

“…how much more time do I need to figure this out? How much time is enough to clear my head about this? How much more pain will help me realize what’s best for me?”

I keep giving second chances, over and over again. Second chances to make this work. I want this to work out. I do! I had to face so many obstacles since day one, moving here in Alaska. But also I have to say, I had beautiful, amazing moments and experiences.

It is close two years now that I live here with my husband and I still suffer, time to time with homesickness and straggling to exist between two worlds. The old and the new one.

I am divided so often, of where I want to live, as almost all immigrants we are. Since you change a country, you are forever divided in two pieces. And when you are here, you desire to be there, back home sweet first home. And when you go there, you desire to come back, to the new home. It is a madness, it is a decease. Isn’t it?

I also meet people that they are happy and successful in their new country and new life. These people are very rare, very few, but they do exist. I believe that life and circumstances, helped them a lot. It is not because they got it right, and we didn’t. It can’t be easy at any case. We all know that, for each one of us, immigrants, the story is different. And we all have our battles to fight for. There are many factors why someone might succeed faster and someone else might fail. And who is the one to say, if going back to your home country, it is a failure.

What about that quotation from the bible and from the great book of “The Alchemist”. Another quote that marked my mind and my heart forever.

“Where ever is your heart, there is your treasure.”

And how we all answer this questions, based on what is the most important thing to us.

A treasure…

A treasure can be for some people, a beautiful big house with a great garden. For some others treasure can be travelling, see the world. Can be a successful carrier, or having a lot of children, a large family. For some others, might be long studies, or writing books, being an artist. Learn an Art. Be a missionary, be a priest, be free… The list is endless…

What really is, a treasure for you?

Have you ever wonder? And if you did, have you ever answer that question to yourself with honesty?

I have that answer, I do.

But my answer right now, do not reflect to where I am.

In my heart my treasure, is my family. So why I am not with them, you might ask. Some of you might say… “You are not with them, because you love your husband which he is also a family.” Yes this is also true. And also… “Because you had a dream for ten years, one day to live abroad in a magical country, with cool summers, snow during winter time, white Christmas and endless beauty all around us, a true heaven on earth, called Alaska land”. Yes, yes all that it is true!!!

Yup, that’s true, that was my dream, our dream for ten years, mine and my king’s dream. And life gave it to me. And I am grateful beyond words… but I still miss them. I know, I know, I will miss them forever. Right? But am I going to suffer forever? I don’t want to suffer forever.

One of my family members a very close one, a very important one, is moving here with me, real soon. And this is a road of ‘hope’ for me. She will bring me, a lot of life gifts and comfort in my heart. She will make things better with her fresh and young personality. Her beautiful soul.

And I will wait, as I already waited for so long…

I can’t give up now… I can’t walk away now.

I need to give this, one more chance and see how things will go.

Having her here with me, my beloved daughter, it will change things hopefully for the better and for all of us. My king is suffering too, because I am in pain. So he also looking forward for her arrival.

She is also my friend and I will get to do the things that I haven’t for a long time now. I haven’t been very lucky with friends here, except maybe one or two cases. Especially one lady that recently she is really trying a lot, to make me feel better and I am deeply thankful for that. If she is reading this article now, she is smiling. She knows I am talking about her and you know, I really need to thank you, from my heart for not giving up on me. You didn’t had to care, but apparently you have a warm heart, with love to give. I like to think that you do enjoy my friendship. I need to have a good friend in my life. I always have and this is very hard for me for almost two years now to be without a good friend.

So, yes that one person, a very special lady in our Greek community here in Anchorage, didn’t gave up on me. I guess people here are a bit distant and cautious. Perhaps they need time to trust or come closer. Perhaps they don’t want to come closer. I don’t know yet how people work here. I am a bit confused, but I will know pretty soon. They say, in time we gain everything!

I fall in love with this country since day one. Alaska is magical with natural beauty all around us. Beauty and mystery and magic, that marks your heart forever. But as we say back home, “Place is made by people and the place alone, no matter how beautiful, doesn’t mean much”.

Still, I can’t walk away just yet…

I am hoping, with her arrival, miracles will happen!

 

PART II

Where’s home for you…

There’s a reason why the first thing we often ask someone when we meet them, right after we learn their name, is “where’s home for you?”

Susan Clayton, an environmental psychologist at the College of Wooster, says that…

“For many people, their home is part of their self-definition, which is why we do things like decorate our houses and take care of our lawns. For better or worse, the place where we grew up usually retains an iconic status”.

But while its human nature to want to have a place to belong, we also want to be special, and defining ourselves as someone who once lived somewhere more interesting than the suburbs of Limassol, is one way to do that.

“You might choose to identify as a person who used to live somewhere else, because it makes you distinctive”, Clayton says.

We all know very well that living in Paris for some months, doesn’t make you a Parisian, but that doesn’t mean there’s not an Eiffel Tower on your shower curtain anyway. You do bring “home” parts of the world, as you become also part in the world by seeing it.

Memories, too, can be cues by the physical environment. When you visit a place you used to live, these cues can cause you to revert back to the person you were when you lived there. The rest of the time, different places are kept largely separated in our minds. The more connections our brain makes to something, the more likely our everyday thoughts are to lead us there.

But connections made in one place can be isolated from those made in another, so we may not think as often about things that happened for the few months we lived someplace else. Looking back, many of the places I have visited they are happy memories because I knew I was going to go back home at the end of that journey. That’s what makes holiday time beautiful, gets you to miss home. But if you move to places and live part of your life there, then it feels more like places borrowed than places possessed, and many times when you go through photos or videos or souvenirs, you will often feel that what it was, you were only a tourist.

We can’t possibly live everywhere. It has to be one place, physically and mentally if possible, in order to enjoy our lives. If we can’t do that, if we end up living physically in one place and mentally in another, then we get ill.

I was once in New York, twice in Paris, many times in London, in Roman city of Bath. I went to New Orleans for a day. I was in my husband’s family town of Hamburg Pennsylvania. We went to Alabama, Mississippi. We spent seven days in Las Vegas back in 1999. Greece of course, the great city of Athens, more than once. I had a taste, of the Mediterranean beauty, the unique Greek islands, Cyclades and Dodecanese. We went to Belgium, Brussels and in a small town called Bruges, which it looks like a fairy tale. Full of chocolate little stores. And now I am here, living in Alaska, a fantastic country on our planet. Far away from many other places. A bit isolated place.

I believe that, I saw pretty much nice places, for one life time. I also know that many of you, have travelled even more than my description, but I also know many people they never travel outside of their home city.

What I remember very strongly, in every single place that I visited… I was never the person I can be, when I live in my home country. Not in the intense way that I can be over there, neither do I can have my free personality the way I have it at home, among my people, my language, my culture. I think that, no one is ever, free from their social or physical environment. I am not sure if we can always be aware of it, but home is a home when we are in peace within ourselves.

Everyday our inner self talks to us in many different ways. And sometimes when we refuse to listen, it approach us in a different way, by getting us ill. Yes, we get ill as we cannot handle the shock of changing cultures, surroundings. While we do welcome the new challenges, we can’t help it not to go through pain and suffering.

People often might say…

“But why… why you want to go back home? This is your dream, this is exactly what you ever wanted, you finally got it and you got so lucky. You don’t know how lucky you are”.

I don’t? Am I that ungrateful? I do feel this way, every time they say that, I feel such an ungrateful person.

Don’t you?

You feel ashamed that you do not appreciate enough, your good fortune to live in such a place, right? Especially if this place is America. So many thousands and millions of people, they are dreaming to have an opportunity like that. And it is true, this is an amazing country, in so many ways and I am also happy here, many days and moments of my life. It is not homesickness all the time, of course not.

And then, I try harder and harder. Is not that I want this to go away, in fact I need this to work out. I need to make it work out, so badly. But homesickness doesn’t help me, at all. When it gets me, takes away every logic thought and it feels like there is no oxygen. What I need to remember is that, homesickness, no matter how deep and sometimes agonizing, still only gets to be a fraction of my experience. I think it’s important that I keep trying to come to terms with it’s existence, and that I recognize it is just a challenging but unavoidable “side effect” of getting to experience life away from Cyprus. It’s not a reflection at all on Alaska, it’s a reflection of how great life was at home with my family.

So, to all of you that you share same situation of homesickness and you suffer like me, I wrote this article today, for you and me, for all of us. I needed to know that I am not alone. And I need you to know, that you are not alone. And I also believe we can help each other by talking, by sharing.

After all friends are the strangers we haven’t meet yet.

Back home, we say that “Facing the pain together, makes it sweeter”!

Koula Ro. Za.

~ Domenica

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17 Comments

  1. Tiffany Coonrod says:

    thanks for sharing, this is gorgeous !

    • Domenica says:

      Thank you very much. Today was my first attempt to write an article in English… I hope I didnt make a lot of mistakes as my frist language as you know it is Greek. kiki emoticon heart emoticon

  2. Tiffany Coonrod says:

    Its perfect! i would’ve never known! And i figured Greek is your native tongue wink emoticon its great!

  3. Zeta Stefanou says:

    Zeta Stefanou
    ..όλα είναι τόσο αληθινά…η ζωή καμμιά φορά μας αφήνει μόνους…άλλες φορές μας χαϊδεύει και άλλες μας κλωτσάει…τι μας κρατάει…ποια δύναμη μας ξανασηκώνει όταν πέφτουμε…να είστε ευτυχισμένοι εσείς που έχετε έναν σύντροφο δίπλα σας…εγώ δυστυχώς ή ευτυχώς…έμεινα…διάλεξα να μείνω…η τύχη το έφερε…πάντως η αλήθεια είναι ότι πορεύομαι στο μονοπάτι μοναχή…χωρίς μια αγκαλιά…δύσκολο…πολλές φορές αβάστακτο…πολλές φορές αδιάφορο…πολλές φορές αγκαλιά με την μοναξιά….η ζωή συνεχίζει την ανηφόρα….τα φιλιά μου και την αγάπη μου…μακρινή μου φίλη….

    • Domenica says:

      Σε όποια όχθη κι αν στεκομαστε για κάποιο περίεργο λόγο επιθυμούμε την απέναντι όχθη… Όπως η μικρή γοργόνα στην ιστορία μου… Έχεις πάντα την αγάπη μου μακρινή μου φίλη χχ

  4. Elena Oratis says:

    Unfortunately it happens very often… but not all the times, my very sweet Domenica, xx miss you a lot!

    • Domenica says:

      Yes! Actually you are right… it happens very often… but not all the times… otherwise we will be constantly unhappy! Miss you too very much! Really!

  5. Antigoni Charalambous says:

    Λένε ότι η αναμονή είναι η πιο γλυκιά, σ’αυτήν τη περίπτωση δεν ισχύει, μόνο όταν αγκαλιάσεις το κοριτσάκι σου θα νιώσεις την υπέρτατη χαρά ότι άξιζε η αναμονή. Καλώς να τη δεκτείς και να περάσετε φανταστικά αλασκιανά!!! φιλάκια πολλά!!! Αγαπώ σας!!!

    • Domenica says:

      Νονακι μου εχεις δικιο, σε αυτη τη περιπτωση δεν ισχυει. Αντιθετως νιωθω μουδιασμενη, μου φαινεται απιστευτο ακομα αν και ολα εχουν μπει σε τελικη ευθεια. Τζαι εμεις αγαπουμεσε ειδικα ΕΓΩ! χχχ

  6. Maria Baskous says:

    Oh, dear Koula, I totally empathize with your aching feelings created by homesickness. Speaking from my experience, I know that time soothes those feelings and things get better! Hang in there and look forward to Annoula’s coming!
    I did smile reading your article tonight and your friendship is good for me too!

  7. Ceca Varda says:

    Wow Koula mou,

    your last article has really touched me…deeply spoken from the heart and shared with your friends is I believe the best thing you could do, to release the energy and let it flow in and out of you…

    Also the image you’ve chosen speaks so much by it self, so very reflecting the cancer venus we’ve been talking about…and the good news is that she is finally out of emotional cancer and into the Leo fire energy…so ready to roar! Very loud smile emoticon And proud smile emoticon This will be a long happy summer…xxx

    • Domenica says:

      Thank you my dear Ceca. Through my blog I also get some self therapy by sharing my thoughts, letting it out… it helps! I guess… I am reaching out as we all need to be heard and share joy or sadness… Yes when I first saw the image I thought to my self, THATS IT… and then I wrote the little story about the mermaid… Really? I HOPE SO… I need a long happy summer, I DO. xxxx

  8. Christiana Anastasiou says:

    Τεράστια συγκίνηση μητέρας κ κόρης να βρεθούν ξανά! πραγματικά τίποτα δεν μπορεί να σταματήσει την απόσταση μεταξύ της οικογένειας! πάντα έτσι να είσαστε!!
    η δύναμη της ψυχής κ της αγάπης!

  9. Jason Tate says:

    Thank you. I needed this. I moved to Texas from London years ago, but still experience horrible homesickness from time to time. Wonderful article.

  10. Farah Roslend says:

    God, exactly. T.T

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