Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about places. Places I’ve been, places I need to go to, and even the places I shouldn’t have gone. Land, either on or off the map. Little corners of the world that have somehow come to matter to me. Oia, Assisi, Munich, 61 Wyn Oak Dr., Chennai, Jacksonville, Death Valley, Singapore, London, Seattle. Why did it feel like my heart was ripping out when I sailed away from Santorini? Why do I still allow myself to desire to go to Chicago, even if the American Girl Doll store is now open in other cities? (which I have already been to in Denver…) Each place has carved out a little space in my heart. More often the question I ask, why do my current geographic coordinates matter so much to me? Its not like I can be in every single place I may be thinking about all at once. On that note, why do I even think about it so much? How is my emotional wellbeing so intrinsically correlated to my location, my place? Apparently the Germans call my state of being fernweh, or farsickness. Good to know it’s an actual thing and I’m not just some ambiguous dust particle without any point of origin.
I think recently my fernweh-o-meter has been particularly high. Maybe because I’ve been in some not so desirable places recently but I’m not sure. I know that my future has more places to look forward to; I just don’t know where they are yet. Most days I feel like I’m just waiting around until I get to go. But I kind of hate that about myself because it is entirely unrealistic. I shouldn’t let my hopes for the future get in the way of appreciating the place I am in today, like Furman. I’ve been essentially here in the same place for four years. While it has been a fight to graduate, sometimes more literally than metaphorically, its finally starting to sink in that this will no longer be my place. This is where I’ve lived with my best friends, learned some stuff, found community and I will miss it. Not even my desire to leave will make it any less hard to go.
I guess that’s the funny thing about place. No matter how much I want to be in a new one or leave the one I’m in, it somehow matters nothing and everything simultaneously. It matters everything because of the relationships and experiences we might leave behind in order to gain new ones. But it matters nothing because it still won’t be perfect. It still won’t be the final place. The most perfect of perfect benches next to a sea somewhere still isn’t the place where I will get to spend eternity with God. Whether its heaven or the unknown, its going to be better than any earthly place I could ever dream of. And it will have the host[ess] with the mostest. Now that is a place I can really get excited about, right now or later. So my wanderlust, while ESSENTIAL to who I am as a human, isn’t entirely unrealistic, just a little misguided. Maybe its not farsickness I’m experiencing, but homesickness.
“I lift my eyes up to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.”
“I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” Philippians 1:23