Do you know what it feels like to be detached from your family? Maybe to feel like you don't belong, or even on some days, like family doesn't really even exist? Who are these people that live thousands of miles away from me, and who I feel the need to call regularly and who I will always love unconditionally?
These are the people I spent the first 18 years of my life with. Day in and day out, and yet in the last 9 or 10 years, I see them only on occasion. Now a-days I am lucky if I see them once a year. Family is a funny thing. At least mine is.
Moving first to Wisconsin, and then later to North Carolina was never a difficult decision for me. Many would consider their families and toil over the thought of living so far away. Perhaps I was self-centered, or maybe I just knew they would always be there, but it never occurred to me what moving away from home would do to the relationship I have with my parents and my sisters and brother. So of course, my pain is no fault of theirs, only my own.
I absolutely love my life in North Carolina and I feel so blessed to be here. My husband and I are incredibly happy, we have an amazing church family, fantastic jobs, our friends here are first class. I love my home, my gym, my running trails, my community. All these are things I never really had in Missouri. Overall my quality of life is wonderful in North Carolina, and I always consider Missouri and wonder if I could ever find all of this back there.
Of course, that would make the assumption that a quality life is possible without your family. And is it really? What am I missing out on that I am unaware of day to day?
How about seeing my amazing nephew grow up?
My little sister and I used to be inseparable. When I moved to Wisconsin- and even more so when I left for a permanent move to North Carolina, I lost my best friend.
One of my biggest sorrows is my relationship with my older sister. Since college we have never been super close, and now would be an amazing time to have her more in my life. She is married and has a child, and she could be a close confidant. Unfortunately, when I moved our lives couldn't have been more dissimilar and so we had little in common. Our lack of relationship then, has translated into a lack of relationship now.
My mom and I have been distant for some time and this is the one family relationship that hurts the most to think about. I miss her, and I badly want to have a strong mother-daughter relationship and we are at a loss. The distance doesn't aid us. My mom is a strong woman and I could learn a lot from her about compassion and strength and yet we find it hard to communicate regularly.
What is the answer? Continue living in North Carolina, missing my family badly, wishing we still had that family bond?
Why am I divulging this information today? Well this morning I started to get excited about an upcoming opportunity to fly home to see my family. Unfortunately it was met with less enthusiasm than I anticipated. And now that I am truly considering it, I wonder if going home is really what I want as well. It seems the longer I wait to return for a visit, the harder it becomes. For me and for them. I understand that I caught them off guard this morning, and I do understand that they would really love to see me, and that they love me. So maybe it is just me now...wondering if going home would be harder than its worth. It would require me to miss them again, to miss all the special events I haven't been home for. To try to fit into their mold, and possibly fail. I would also have to accept that my parents are getting a divorce and be faced with it head on. Something I'm not eager to pursue.
Maybe staying in North Carolina is just easier.