Homesickness is a vicious disease that can strike at any moment, without any symptoms or premonitions. Homesickness is like a virus, a feeling in your chest that something is wrong, a condition that is impossible for outsiders to detect. Homesickness will attack the weak and the strong alike; it may be caused by a text message, a mentioning of a friend’s name or a song on the radio that you used to hear with someone from back home. Homesickness makes you cry in your sleep; it turns laughter into half-hearted smiles, and it puts a layer of heavy, gray dust on everything that you used to enjoy.
Luckily, I am not homesick. After spending more than four years in the US and in Germany away from my Swedish family, I am used to not seeing the parents, siblings and friends that I grew up with. After spending 1,5 years in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend in Germany, I am also used to not seeing him everyday. The homesickness that I don’t have is more a longing for people who know me inside and out. I love my new friends here, but there is something special about people with whom you share a history, a past and a bag full of unexplainable memories. The homesickness that I don’t have is controlled. It is an undeveloped seed in my stomach that I choose not to acknowledge, something that instead will visualize itself as a strong urge to speak Swedish, to laugh at an insider joke, to hear my man’s reassuring voice.
And if I quickly manage to fulfill that need with a Skype call, an SMS or a quick look at my picture album from home, my homesickness stays quiet and still. That tells me that I am in the right place, at the right time. Fate wanted me to be here, and I intend to make the best of the 98 days that are left.