**Please note this is a more personal, melancholic post. Go look at puppies if you’re not in the mood 🙂 

I’ve been in California for a little over a month now, and am finally beginning to feel the full-blown effects of having moved 2,000 miles away from home. I really miss my friends and family. Living with my boyfriend and his family over this past month has been pretty smooth thus far, and they have been incredibly kind and generous. But there is a hole that can’t be filled right now. All of the connections and friendships that I had invested in over the past seven years while living in Champaign, Illinois suddenly feel broken. I had not expected the physical pang that would come with the distance of being so far away from home.

I am not regretting the decision to try living my dream of being on the West Coast, I’m just saying that it sure as hell isn’t emotionally easy. I know that time will pass and new friendships will form, and I can still keep up with all of the wonderful people back in Illinois, it is just going to take a bit more effort than before. I am also learning how to deal with this homesickness while being in a relationship with a California-native, and learning how to not overburden him with my current melancholy status. In the process of figuring this out, I have been of course surfing the internet to see if other people have experienced a similar state of being when moving across the country or moving in with a boyfriend. Thankfully, I am realizing I’m not alone in this, and found this forum that has helped me realize that loneliness can occur in any relationship at any stage. Someone had also posted the Ben Folds’ song “Brick” on the forum. I had heard the song before, but it had always just been a sort of background noise. It had never really pulled the ole heart strings until now..Just listen to the lyrics….

I listened to this song and cried like a leaky sink. I felt ashamed to cry and to feel so alone and frustrated even though I’m in such a kind and loving place right now with my boyfriend and his parents. But this song really hit home. I made the choice to move out to California and explore the West Coast with my boyfriend. But in doing so, I also made the choice to leave all of the people and places that had given me support for so many years. That support system still exists, but now it is just more inconsistent. Despite the inconsistency, this support group still exists through phone calls, random texts, skype chats, and hand-written letters. And as soon as we move to Sacramento, I plan to join some meetup groups to connect with people on a face-to-face basis as well.

Anyhow, I’m going to try to find a positive outlook, and continue to embrace this adventure. But in order to do so, I must embrace the bittersweetness that is part of the package. Anytime I have gone through a difficult or melancholy time, one thing that always seems to get me through (in addition to wonderful friends and family) is music. Here are some thoughts on the beauty of music and its ability to transform sadness:

Sometimes I think that music is the only place where sadness can truly live. In every day life, sadness is undesirable, a burden to bear, something that hinders and slows the world down. But in music, sadness can live, there are no taboos against it. But not only can it live, but so too can it grow and transform and give delicate form to something that can be so hard to grasp in every day life. In music sadness can be transformed and embraced, so that it can then be released, thus making room for all of the lighter things in life.