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Leaving behind home: The emotional impact of moving

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

I miss waking up early in the mornings, grabbing my bag, and dragging my little sister along to school. We would pass by a broken fence and emerge into a field of grass guiding us to a building so big but so small. I remember its red bricks and the grandiose entrance leading us to a long pathway up to class. The hallways would buzz with almost a million kids left and right. It was exciting being greeted by so many familiar faces I'd recognized before; the boy in the green and black stripes, and the girl with long hair who I wasn't sure to call a friend or enemy. Evermore, I was fascinated by the limitless sense of thrill each time I walked into that building.

However, the world was full of limits.

The day my parents told me I was moving, I was beaming. I was so happy. My narrow and constricted world was wider than I could imagine. New possibilities formed in my mind and I began idealizing a life far from reality. I would have a new room, new friends, and a whole new life. I had to start packing right away!

I recall getting into a car the next few weeks and waving goodbye to my childhood friend. We promised to call every day as if everything remained normal like playing video games till midnight and watching shows together arm to arm. I knew I would miss the little games we would play at her apartment. Our dolls would be lonely and maybe even the apartment complex would miss the noise we filled it with. As soon as we left in that car, my body thrived off of adrenaline, after all, I would be 4 hours away from home. The moment I got there I would start decorating my room with all sorts of toys I brought back from home. Colors and paint would spread all over the floor, spoiling the white-colored carpet. The walls would be filled with countless drawings and posters. I would go to school like I own the place and talk to everyone there. Maybe I'd immediately spark a few friendships. I would make this place mine.

When we arrived I did just that. I decorated my room with the little supplies I had. A bed piled on another bed lay against the wall with fairy lights hanging absurdly around it while a series of printed posters hung on the wall. It looked perfect to me. Almost like home.

And surprisingly, I didn't miss home.

When summer ended and school began, adrenaline came back to me. The whole summer the soulless apartment turned into a cave of my imagination. Every interaction I would make was planned out, so planned out I think I ignored what I already had. I didn't keep my friends promise, and we only drifted further. My mind encaptured a world so far away from the reality that it was almost impossible to depart. The first day of school was a nightmare. I had a wardrobe malfunction and everything I had imagined didn't come true. I was incredibly shy. I never talked and even my teachers scared me. There were no familiar faces here, the skies were different and the buildings reeked of despair. I was suffocated. I needed to go back home. I couldn't be at 'almost home' anymore.

And I missed home.

Familiarity and comfort were unknown to me. I was displaced by this strange reality. Thankfully I had reunited with my friends back home. Covid-19 allowed us to back together even stronger than before. However, a stronger sense of longing came to me. Yearning and the feeling of missing something in my life. The only key was home. I knew I needed to be back there and the possibilities, the what ifs rummaged through my mind. I wanted to be back with my friends, I just wanted to be back.


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