I’ve been feeling very homesick lately, so I’m going to list all the things I miss here in an attempt to get them out and move one step closer to moving on. I’m not going to include people because that is obvious and I will inevitably forget someone.
- Autumn in Illinois.
- Red, orange, yellow, brown, and green trees.
- Tanner’s Orchard.
- Apple and pumpkin flavored everything.
- Crisp air.
- Sweaters and boots and scarves.
- Singing while driving.
- Walking into a store or restaurant and knowing exactly what to do and say.
- Background conversations being in English.
- Knowing my sizes while shopping.
- Knowing which stores will have the things I need.
- Paying with a debit card.
- Having access to Hulu and Spotify.
- Going to the library.
- Having Wifi in my house.
- Going to movie theaters regularly.
Three things I don’t miss:
- The food.
- The knowledge that many people around me have guns.
- Being in the midst of our political catastrophe.
Yesterday I was feeling especially homesick. It was a combination of things: listening to Dallas radio stations online, seeing blue lights at a metro station that reminded me of a movie theater in my hometown, talking with friends from several places I call home.
I told one friend: “I’m occasionally feeling homesick. I think I’ve been here too long and I need to travel somewhere.”
She wrote back: “It’s funny that your reaction to homesickness is ‘go somewhere else.’ You are a very interesting person.”
I hadn’t considered that my feelings were kind of weird, but as soon as she confused me, she gave me some answers. “Maybe you need to travel to regain your excitement for being away from home. And then when you do get back to Athens, it will feel like home by comparison. Maybe.”
She was totally right. But it got me thinking…so what happens when Athens DOES feel like home? Continue reading
A few weeks ago, Anthi invited me to join her and some friends in going to Leutraki (near Corinth) for a weekend conference with the Free Evangelicals of Athens. Apparently I have not been attending a Free Evangelical church, but when asked my opinion on free will vs. predestination (“I think they’re both right, but we don’t know how”) I was given clearance to come.
I didn’t expect to learn anything, since the whole conference would be in Greek, but I was super into the location. We stayed at a resort by the sea and paid only €105 for two nights and six buffet meals. That would have been enough to satisfy me, but Anthi made sure to find translators for me during each presentation.
Can we pause a second and talk about how humbling it is to not know a language? There’s the everyday “everyone is talking about something, and I have no idea what it is!” and the similar “oh no, they are asking me to perform and all I can think of is ‘Μιλἀω ελληνικἀ λἰγα αλλἀ νομἰζω οτἰ ξεχνἀω πολὐ’ and I said that last time.” But there’s also the next level up: being translated to while 130 people sit around you. This is maybe an introvert-specific humiliation, since my highest aim in life is to blend in. There’s something so humbling about letting everyone know that you’re alone in your confusion and that you need help. This is a good thing, I think, learning to accept help….I just don’t like the process of learning it. Continue reading