Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Homesickness

In a recent assignment for my language studies, I had to write an essay with the title (translated from Chinese) "My First Time Far Away From Home." Part of the exercise was to use some set phrases in the body of the essay. I didn't have any difficulty doing so, from a language perspective, but I did run into another problem... some of the phrases were just too sappy for me. Things like, "just as the tears started to drop...." and things like that. Ugh.

The thing is, I started traveling at a fairly young age. I can hardly remember the actual feelings of that first time I was far away from my parents, though I do remember feeling somewhat empty when I got to my room to have a rest... only to find I couldn't sleep at all. That was a pretty bad feeling.

I am presently staying in Shanghai for 3 months, and am enjoying it. That's not to say there aren't things I miss about Singapore, but just that life gets moving along where you are, and that leaves little time to sit about moping over the things you do miss.

I don't guess I have ever fully understood homesickness, mostly because I think there is an easy solution to it. Get busy. Get involved with your surroundings, observe, and just enjoy. There are good and bad things about every place. Whether we enjoy the good things, or merely sit around missing what we have left behind (and perhaps focusing on the bad things in the place we are now) is all a matter of attitude.

I've been posting my essays that I have had to write for Chinese class at another blog, but I doubt I'll be posting the one on my first time away from home. It's just too embarrassing to think that someone might read it and think I actually was ever that sappy! :-)


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