I can’t sleep tonight. Or rather, I don’t want to sleep tonight. There’s a lot on my mind if I’m being honest, but the feeling in my chest right now is something unique. There’s a heaviness in my chest that I have only felt since I have moved to Amsterdam. The heaviness is what I call ‘homesicknes’ and ‘loneliness’.
This heaviness is knowing I want to return home to India, albeit for a mere two week vacation to see my family – but knowing I can’t. Knowing I can’t because of how expensive the tickets are, because I’m moving homes, because I have meetings and appointments I can’t miss/don’t want to miss.
I can’t go home.
And you know what terrifies me a little? I realised that when I imagined myself at immigration entering India, and when I return to the Netherlands, I think of myself as a Dutch resident. I know my nationality is Indian, but I’ve begun thinking of the Netherlands as my permanent and natural home, not India.
And I can’t go home, because home doesn’t exist anymore. Home is a vacation spot. Home is merely where my family lives. Home is where I once had a bedroom, but now belongs to my brother. Home is where I don’t remember the littlest things about everyday living.
I can’t go home. Fuck. That realisation will never stop weighing on me. The realisation that it will always be too expensive, too inconvenient, or too time-consuming. The realisation that all my friends from Europe can travel back home as many times as they like. They get to see their families, the homes they grew up in, their friends. They get to eat food they love and visit places they miss. I don’t have that luxury.
I have never wished that my family was rich. At least not genuinely. But right now, I truly wish we were. I wish I could afford a €1200 round trip to India with no checked baggage and an inflexible ticket. I wish I could just drop everything in Amsterdam and leave to see my family again, to see my little brother again.
And it breaks my heart that I can’t. I can’t go home and home can’t come to me. It breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that I have to fall asleep not knowing when I’ll see my family next. And I don’t want to fall asleep not knowing. I wish I would never fall asleep not knowing.