A big dose of Heimweh

In response to my last entry, some awesome new words were suggested to me by my dear friend, Miles – the original Miley – I will let you know! Definitely not the one swinging around naked on a wrecking ball – this version is waaaayy more fun!! Anyway, one of these words had struck a cord with me and armed with an idea for a new post, I started doing some research. One of them really hit home. Literally and figuratively! And it wasn’t about the meaning of the actual word, but the meaning of the opposite. Confused yet? Well, let me explain… and for the purpose of the exercise I’m going to work my way backwards. Yes, I like to make things VERY confusing some times!

Let’s start with Heimweh – the opposite word – it immediately got me thinking about a similar word in Afrikaans: Heimwee. This word couldn’t be more correct in describing my mood for the last week and a bit. I’m homesick. A feeling that I never thought I would struggle with. The facts are:
• I went to boarding school for all of my primary and secondary education. Learned to be superbly independent from an early age.
• During my twenties I always spent long periods of time away from my family, seeing each other once a year. If even that lucky!
• In the last year before leaving Cape Town, I did special date night experiments. Yes, times out with me, myself and I. Especially in preparation for being on the other side of the world surrounded by lots of people, but essentially still being alone.

I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I can spend days by myself. Jokingly, claiming that I could be stranded on a forlorn island for days if there were a couple of good books on hand. And I can still do it, but what I was experiencing now, was a completely different ball game.
Add to the equation, the fact that my new maaitjie that I had made on my first day in Ft. Lauderdale had left. Don’t get me wrong, I am of course ecstatic for her that she managed to find a job, but it doesn’t make the separation easier. The irony being that this is the nature of this business – you meet wonderful people that you get along with like a house on fire. Only to have them leave again. I was missing my new friend, my old friends, my family – I was even missing imaginary people just to be able to wallow in self-pity even more!

Shed a tear. Wipe it away. Get a straw. Suck it up. It does get better! Given, I’ve had some solid day work for the last couple of days that’s kept me busy and left me so exhausted in the evenings that I don’t even have a split second to think about the Heimweh too much.

Which brings us to the actual word of the day – Fernweh. The reason I started this Journey in the first place. You could almost say it’s a synonym for the name of my blog! When I think of this word, it brings a smile on my face and immediately the dark homesick cloud starts getting a silver lining.
There is a constant stream of people passing in and out of my life at the moment. Some of them will be more memorable than others, but this is the life I chose. There will be days where I will miss the people from near and far, but I don’t have to get sick about it. Rather I will fight it off with my never ending ache for distant places. Let’s just say that the battle is on. Like Donkey Kong!


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