Thought Throw Up · Wants

How Do I Feel Homesick for a Place I’ve Never Been to?

Even though I never got to go, well, maybe I shouldn’t say never. I didn’t get to go like I planned, right after college for graduate school, but I used to imagine what it would be like to live in New York. I wanted to go to Columbia, or NYU, and that dream didn’t come true, but when I was still daydreaming about it, I would get this feeling in my gut about what it would feel like to live there. It felt so real, and even now when I imagine it, I can still dredge up this feeling.

I don’t really understand it, but I like knowing the feeling is there. I imagine it’s kind of like how you don’t feel what it’s like to be at a certain place, like in high school, or elementary school, or at a foreign gas station in the middle of the night while on a road trip. But later, when you’re back home or you’ve made a new home for yourself somewhere else, the feeling can consume you very suddenly with just the slightest shift in the wind or suspended moment between errands. One moment you’re walking to your car in a parking lot, and then you’re six years old again, waiting in line in the cafeteria to get your pre-packaged lunch. That’s the primary reason why this feeling of knowing what it’d be like to live in New York startled me.

I had never been to New York, but I knew with certainty that this is what it would feel like. And there were so many good things mixed in with bad things that composed this feeling, and I love them all. And I resent them because my dream didn’t happen, at least not yet. Like my dream, I have been put on pause for the time being.

What really gets to me, though, is that certain songs can evoke this feeling from me without my knowledge. I’ll hear them, and it’s almost like I’m struck violently with a homesickness I don’t actually have a right to feel. But there is the feeling. And I live in it as long as I can, even if that means I don’t listen to anything else but that specific song for days, and then I store the feeling deep down so that I’m not consumed with the reminder of what almost was.


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