the white noise of familiarity

In a few short months, I’ll be leaving my life as I know it to move halfway across the world with just a backpack. Many people might be anxious about the backpack part of that sentence. The idea of giving up the things you’ve bought and collected over the years seems daunting, especially when you’ve grown attached to the world around you. But that’s not really me.

I’ve known for nearly a decade that I’ve wanted to move far away and as a result, I’ve kept myself from growing attached to my things. My books, my clothes, my shoes, my knick-knacks can all be easily rebought and replaced. For me, this is a small price to pay for a chance at a new life, a new adventure. But there was one thing I was leaving that I had never really taken into consideration before now: the people.

This seems a little silly now that I write it down. Of course, I have to leave behind my family and close friends. I’ve always known this and I’ve always known it wouldn’t be easy. No, what I hadn’t really considered is the everyday people I walk by- the people I took a class with once, my neighbors, past teachers and professors, the barista that’s at Starbucks literally every single time I go. I walk by these people and it suddenly hits me that I don’t know the next time I’ll see or even think about this person again. All these people become a part of your world, spinning around your orbit and emitting a reassuring and steady white noise.

This atmosphere of familiar faces will give way to a strange new world, in which I don’t recognize a single soul. That is the feeling I didn’t know I would miss. The comfort of walking down a familiar road and giving a half smile of recognition to the man who lived down the street but you’ve never once talked to or the girl who makes your morning latte. I’m sure that eventually these roles will be filled with new neighbors and new baristas as you begin to fill in the cracks of your life that were torn open when you pulled up your roots and began again. But until then, you’re stuck navigating a new landscape of unfamiliarity and anonymous faces, waiting for the day they become recognizable.


5 thoughts on “the white noise of familiarity

  1. Hi Meghan!

    Wow. I couldn’t have put this better into words myself. I’m actually preparing to pack my life up in a suitcase or two to teach overseas in Japan. Leaving in two months doesn’t help as I try and sort through everything and decide what’s absolutely necessary for me to bring or not. It won’t be my first time overseas, but it will be the longest time yet, and the white noise of familiar faces is a perfect name for the feeling I will be losing. I hope you don’t mind a random follower, and I invite you to follow me as well and share in our experiences overseas, but I’m looking forward to seeing how life changes for you and how we adapt to our next adventure.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Courtney! First of all, thank you so much for commenting and following my blog, I really appreciate it. I’m in a pretty similar situation as you and it’s really comforting to know that other people are going through some of the same changes and struggles. Best of luck in Japan!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course, I’m all too happy to share with another traveler! I moved to Belgium last summer alone and I think the thing that kept me going the most was sharing with other people and realizing I’m not alone when I get nervous or homesick. In fact, it made it that much better because I could move past it faster and embrace the new experiences. Thanks for the wishes, I look forward to keeping up with you!


      2. Thanks for the advice. This is my first time really traveling abroad for an extended period without my family. I’ve found that writing about my struggles and anxiety really has helped me work through and move past them. I’m pretty new to the idea of writing and the blogging community but so far I’ve found it has really helped me with my move abroad and I’m glad that it is connecting people, like us, who can share and relate.
        Meghan xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Glad to be connected with someone like you as well! For me, writing has become something therapeutic and calming, especially in a strange place. Keep up with the writing and best wishes!

        Liked by 1 person

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