This is not my home

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself lately.

My parents are moving to the U.S. soon and while I can’t wait to have them close by again, I can’t help but think about all the things that I will miss about being able to go home, to Budapest.

I will not miss the expensive plane tickets and the fact that we only see each other once a year. But I will miss the excitement of planning to go home, the nervous wait for our luggage at the Budapest airport, the rush of seeing Mom, Dad, and Grandma waiting in the crowds. I will miss the cramped ride home in my parents’ Skoda – my Mom playing with my ear – and I will miss seeing how much things have changed on the streets of Budapest and how things have stayed the same.

I will miss our old, cold, crumbling apartment building. I will miss going into my childhood room – the smell of the curtains that my Dad washed the day before, blowing in the wind and the sound of the trolley cars on the street below. I will miss feeling so big in a room that used to seem much larger when I was little. I will miss my Dad making a celebratory batch of Wiener schnitzel and my Grandma’s hands uncovering a plate of apple pie. I will miss the fact that we barely fit into our kitchen and that I have to sit on the little red stool, shoved between my Dad and brother.

In the larger scheme of life, all of this seems petty of course. I know that. But as I am getting ready to make great, new memories with my parents here, in Maine, I can’t help but finally grieve for what I’ve left behind. Even though I left Budapest more than 12 years ago now, this is the first time that I realize the magnitude of that step. And it sucks.

When I tell Drew that I want to go home, he always says “but this is your home,” meaning our little apartment where we’ve made our nest for the past four years.

But he is wrong.

It’s a house, it’s a life, it might even be happiness. But this is not my home.


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