Nostalgia

I totally left this unbuttoned as a fashion statement...whoops!
Cardigan, thrifted H&M | Button down, thrifted | Skirt, thrifted Hollister | Shoes, Keds | Necklace, Love Nail Tree
Photos by my brother

If my hair looks a little shorter and my smile more carefree, it’s because I shot this look just over a month ago, when I was still on break.

I never thought I’d be this homesick. Before I left for second semester, I told my parents not to buy me a plane ticket home for spring break. It’s not a holiday, it’s expensive, it’s only a week, and it doesn’t align with anyone else’s breaks, I reasoned. And after all, hadn’t I not even wanted to go home for the winter? Hadn’t the change I observed when I returned for Thanksgiving unnerved me so much? I was sure I wouldn’t mind waiting until May to return.

I was wrong. I didn’t realize how much home had grown on me over that short month between semesters. I didn’t realize that I had come to terms with the change, accepted this new definition of the town where I had spent most of my life. I had overestimated myself.

I miss home. I miss the days when my biggest stress was getting to work on time or agonizing over whether the vegan muffins I had baked would turn out okay. I miss the boisterous Asian holiday parties with beautiful food and intense rounds of mafia and ERS. I miss catching up with friends in coffee shops and local diners. I miss watching the blue sky through the second story great room window while lying contemplatively on the beige carpet of my house (yeah, I do weird things like that). I miss my family. I miss the familiar.

This semester hasn’t been the kindest. The classes that caused me the most pain last fall I now reflect on fondly—round two has been so much more demanding. Anxiety is far from a foreign concept to me, but it’s never been this paralyzing. There were moments I was so stressed about my work, I couldn’t focus enough to actually do it. When I couldn’t do it, I only stressed more. It was a cruel paradox. I was a tangle of tension, sleep deprivation, fear—I was terrified of failing to meet my expectations.

The storm eventually broke. Time was my remedy—I didn’t feel better until I emerged from the pileup of exam dates and essay deadlines.

I wish I could say I emerged with new clarity, or some surefire way to conquer all my worries. The truth is that it’s an ongoing struggle. I can’t control what life throws at me. But I can take a deep breath and tackle everything one a time. I can pray for strength to meet my tasks. I can talk it through with friends. I can dress up, belt out Julie Andrews' My Favorite Things, and remain perceptive to everyday inspiration, like the quotes on magnets I stumbled upon in a bookstore this weekend:

A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

I may be homesick, some of my classes may terrify me, but I’ll be okay.

After all, there’s no growing without growing pains.

post signature
Note: I've taken a little break from reading blogs, but I look forward to catching up soon.

8 comments

  1. Ohhh Lily, I wish I could wrap you up in a hug right now and reassure you it's all going to be okay. I can't promise that, but with your mindset and hard work ethic, I know it will be for you.

    I can definitely relate to the homesickness you're experiencing. Moving and starting at a new school has been rough for me, and I miss everything that's familiar and back home. My friends, my favorite teachers, my co-workers, my parents...it's tough to move on. However, things will always change, even if we'd stayed home where it's safe and comfortable. It's a hard lesson to learn, but we can get through it Lily!

    Definitely praying for you and that you'll be able to conquer this semester!

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

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  2. Oh dear Lily I am so sorry life feels,hard!! I do hope that things will get easier for you, you are a hard worker and perfectionist so I'm sure you're putting yourself under extra pressu. God bless you in all of it.x x

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  3. Aw I'm sorry to hear about the craziness of school. I'm sure things will definitely get better, especially when the weather gets better. I don't know about you, but I totally get awful during the winter. I need my sunlight and warmth! But yeah, I totally understand the homesickness of college! I'm not exactly the happiest at my current college and as you know, am looking into transferring. I guess, for me, it's a little lonely here.

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  4. wow, Lily, you couldn't have said it all better. it was just so genuine, so true, it is reality. and even though your struggle is about school and missing your home and my struggle is about totally different things (one of them being my health unfortunately) I still felt like I could really relate to you! and those final thoughts you found from the magnets. they're simple and beautiful.
    I hope both of us will be successful at beating our worries and problems and those dark thoughts will be gone for good. and I mean it 100%. I know how hard life can be and it's such a difficult task to push through the hardest days when everything seems to go wrong and be too difficult, unfair, sad or painful. good luck to you, dear, and well, to me too, haha. by the way, before I go I have to say I like your almost wholly thrifted outfit A LOT! its's such a simple look, those cute neutral shades, delicate lace, that geometric necklace, your golden sneakers. I like them all. oh and Lily, thank you for the sweet note you left me. your thoughtful words gave me a smile, that's for sure. and every good wish is needed. so thank you once again :)



    Maiken
    - Part of
    me

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  5. So glad you stopped by, Olivia! I was wondering if my earlier comments had gone through since I hadn't heard from you.


    I totally agree about the weather--I can't wait for real spring. I also can completely understand how hard it must be to live far away from main campus--that was one of my main considerations as I looked for housing next year. Fingers crossed for you about fashion design and NYC! I'll keep you in my thoughts in prayers as we both tackle spring semester. Thank you for your encouragement! Same to you--I'm always here to listen.

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  6. Maiken, you never fail to make me smile too. Thank YOU. We can do this.

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  7. You really are the sweetest, Kezzie. Thank you.

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  8. Thank you Linda--you're always so insightful and kind. You're right, there'll be change no matter what but can can pull through. Praying for you as well!

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