An Open Letter to My Family Back Home

Hey Mom and Dad (and brother and sister),

I won’t lie to you, I cringed a little bit every time someone in my graduating class said they wanted to choose a college because it was “close to home.” I had never understood the appeal of going home every single weekend to see your family. At summer camp, I was never the one to get struck by homesickness.  So it may come as a bit of a surprise, not only to you but to myself, that I miss home. I miss home a lot. I miss you guys, I miss my brother, and I miss my sister.

For years, I have prided myself on being “independent,” but to be quite honest, I don’t think I was really sure what being independent actually entailed. I used to think being independent meant never missing home. I thought homesickness was equivalent to weakness, but how could missing the people you love more than anything in the world ever be perceived as weak? My previous faulty definition of independence has been shattered, and in its place I have discovered a new meaning to “being independent.” Independence isn’t acting like nothing affects you, it's acknowledging that things do, but realizing that it's going to be okay.

To Dad, I miss waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee every morning. I can’t make a cappuccino without thinking of you.

To Mom, I miss you every time “Yellow” by Coldplay comes on the radio. I smile each time it does.

To my sister, you mean so much to me. No matter how hard I try, I’ve never been able to find a best friend like you... and I know I never will.

And to my little brother, I wish I was there to tell you that life gets better after high school. You’re so strong.

It’s taken me 19 years, but I have finally realized what “family” means. Family means love, like forever love. And as hard as it is to be so far away from all of you, I know that you will always be there for me. I know I can look forward to dramatic airport running-start hugs, and lazy morning Starbucks runs forever. Because you guys aren’t going anywhere; and neither am I.

Love,

Your Independent AND Homesick Daughter.