For the past two weeks I have been allowing myself to marinate in homesickness, which is just as depressing as it sounds. As I go about my day-to-day, whether I be feeding the cats, going for a walk, working, sitting on the bus, cooking dinner, or trying to learn German, I have a movie reel playing in my head of home. Of Kamloops. Of my family. Of friends.
I picture myself strolling down Victoria Street with my sisters, looking at the piercing shop and wishing I had gone there to get my nose pierced instead of the mall; I see myself with Dan roller-blading along Schubert Drive, our blades crushing fallen leaves; I am in Red Robin with my friend Jana and her little daughter Kate is trying on my engagement ring which fits over two of her tiny four year old fingers; I am sitting at my Bup and Nan's table eating hamburger soup with freshly baked buns; I am in my car, going over every twist and bend of a familiar highway that leads to Bup and Nan; I am walking around my neighbourhood where I lived for six years, passing parks and old houses, and looking at views of the valley.
When I talk to my parents I cry about how homesick I am, and feel like a miserable fool for doing so.
Just get over it, crybaby.
That's what I tell myself, because I hardly expect any sympathy: I am living in Switzerland right now, and having all the adventures I imagined I would have; it was less than two months ago when I had to give myself my last pep-talk. But then I post posts that are a great chance to dig out some favourite old pictures of home, and I feel like I'm letting myself and Dan down, because I can't.
Today, I can't get over it.
But today I also feel like a huge narcissist because my homesickness is hardly a problem in light of the literal waves that have washed away scores of Japanese people's lives, homes, their security, their familiarity.
These survivors can turn their memory cards over and over and over again, searching for the familiar, but when they look up they won't find the match. Instead they are confronted with muddy claw marks where hearth and home once stood; where family once gathered.
I am homesick, but I can turn my memory cards over and over again and am fortunate in that when I do go home for a visit, chances are that hearth and home will still stand as I remember it. That familiar streets will still be as comfortable. That my fingertips will brush gratefully over the solid foundations of my mental picture game.