Feels like home to me.

on September 26, 2008 in Nash-livin' with 21 comments by

Of all the love languages, how I give and receive love, I score lowest on physical touch.

Well, I take that back.  I think I probably score lower on acts of service because I’m lazy.  But I think I was feeling particularly giving the day I took the test, so physical touch came in last.

And rightfully so.  I am NOT a hugger.  I’m not a toucher.  I don’t feel more loved the longer you hug me.  I don’t feel neglected if you don’t.  I had a roommate once, whom I love dearly, but she is a physical touch person.  She drew life from just sitting close on the couch.  Me?  That makes me feel nervous and like I’m going to slither out of my skin.

My college roomie and bfry Candace and I do not hug.  We had lived together for YEARS, literally YEARS, before we hugged.  It has to be extreme to make us hug.  A breakup.  A wedding.  A friendship recovered.  The “Hot Donut” sign on at Krispy Kreme.  These kinds of things.

Because she, nor I, speak the language of THE CLOSER YOU ARE THE DEEPER YOU LOVE.  [We operate more in the vein of “the funnier you are, the more I love you”.  But we don’t say “I love you” either.  We have a mildly dysfunctional friendship.]

But as for me- Words of affirmation?  Bring it on.  Gifts?  Oh yes sir.  Quality time?  I mean, if you’ve got it, I’ll take it.  Wanna do something nice for me?  Yep, I’ll probably let you.

Just don’t touch me.

But after only 48 hours at home, something has changed.  Or something has been there all along.

Now that I’m home, I can’t hug my friends enough.  I sit by a friend and I want to be touching her hand.  I want to hug my friends and not let go.  I rest my hand on a friend’s knee, just because I can.  I want to hold Haley’s baby right up against my chest until our breaths are in sync.  When I feel arms wrap around me, my eyes fill with tears. I walk through a room of my friends and touch every shoulder, my hands lingering like they are drawing something life-giving from each person.

I just love to feel them beside me.  Just to know, with certainty, that they are there.

I stood at the top of the stairs last night and cried in my Daddy’s arms.  I have so missed the feel of folding into my Dad’s chest.  The tight hugs of my Mom.  The softness of a love that is unwavering, expressed through close proximity.

Nashville is good to me.  Don’t get me wrong.  But Nashville doesn’t hold me.  Nashville doesn’t sit too close.  Nashville doesn’t get in my business or my personal space.  Nashville doesn’t let me lean in without purpose.

Nashville and I are still shaking hands.  Marietta and I are sappy long huggers.

I came home this weekend for a wedding that I did not want to miss.  And I’m glad I did.

But maybe this was too soon.  Maybe my heart still breaks too much.  Maybe my Marietta life still feels so right.

I have really missed the feel of home. The literal hold-my-hand-because-you- know-me-and-love-me feel of home.

And I don’t know how to leave it again.


  1. posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 5:06 PM  |  reply

    I’m sorry, I’m a hugger ((you)) lol

  2. Face
    posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 6:17 PM  |  reply

    Oh, girl, I’m praying for you. I remember those same feelings the first time we returned to Athens from Charlotte. I do pray that, when you return to Face-ville that you’ll actually be surprised at how home-y IT feels, like a new, really-good friend that you’re really enjoying.

  3. posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 6:24 PM  |  reply

    I will be praying for you…..I know how you feel. Being in Nashville is making you appreciate home more and it is making what used to be commonplace even more special to you…….enjoy your time at home and hug your mama and daddy every chance you get.

  4. Southern Gal
    posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 7:43 PM  |  reply

    I know it’s got to be tough leaving, then coming back for just a short while. Makes you miss it even more. Therefore I’ll pray for you even more.

    Another thing in commom, me and you: I do hug (short, friendly hugs), but I’m not a physical touch person. I don’t want someone to rub my back or play with my hair (it’s curly and you’ll make it frizz!). I make exceptions for my hubby and my babies.

    Acts of Service!! Nothing says “I love you” more to me than helping me clean my house!


  5. posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 8:05 PM  |  reply

    Does it help at all to know that I will be in Nashvegas next week? Because I’ll hug you.

    Or not.

    Depending on how you feel that day.

  6. posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 8:20 PM  |  reply

    Praying for you. I know this is a hard thing. They provide so much comfort and love and encouragement that you don’t get on a daily basis. I am praying for you for this weekend and for when you have to go back to Nashville.
    Much love!

  7. posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 8:46 PM  |  reply

    I remember this feeling! Going back to your new “home” (cause I know you can’t call it home yet) after being in GA is really tough. Time, putting yourself out there to meet people (which you seem to be doing a great job of), and Jesus are going to make Nashville feel like home someday. It won’t be Marietta…it never will, but it can feel like home, in a different way, eventually. I totally know what you are going through…I will be praying for you.

  8. Kristi Kay
    posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 8:52 PM  |  reply

    A few things:

    1 – This was a really sweet post. I’m glad you got the hugs and I’m glad you went back to Nashville.

    2 – I had to pause but was really happy when I realized why Melissa called Nashville, “Faceville”. ha!!

    3 – Am I the roomate who creeped you out on the couch????? (I’m combing through my memory…I don’t think so…but maybe I sat too close??) ha,ha…now I’m cracking up at my paranoia

  9. posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 10:03 PM  |  reply

    Your last sentence about not knowing how you’ll leave again made my heart squeeze. I remember coming back to Minnesota when we lived in California. My friends were here, my family was here, familiarity was here. It was always SO HARD to leave all that.

    But I knew God wanted me in California, so I cried my heart out on the plane and went back anyway. In the end, once again, He knew best.

    Still, I’m praying for you.

  10. Laura
    posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 11:18 PM  |  reply

    why do you always have to make me cry? for real. am i turning into you, because if i am i’m not complaining. when are you going back to tennesee? because i want to see you if at all possible. love you and i’m praying for you.

  11. posted on Sep 26, 2008 at 11:43 PM  |  reply

    I am so with you on the physical touch thing. It isn’t my love language at all either. Humor (though not one of the love languages, I know) makes me love people more too. 🙂 And quality time is my biggest, I think. The others are about even, with acts of service right above phsyical touch.

    But it’s interesting that moving away and then coming back has changed this. Wow. I should move away several times a year and then return; my husband would SO love it if I were more touchy-touchy. 🙂

    Great post. Love how you personify Nashville and Marrieta.

  12. posted on Sep 27, 2008 at 12:55 AM  |  reply

    Aw, sweetie, that makes me wanna hug you 🙁

    And now of course I am wondering if I skeeved you in San A…hmmmm….

  13. Shannon
    posted on Sep 27, 2008 at 2:12 AM  |  reply

    I think you go to more weddings than most wedding photographers. But, I’m glad you have a reason to keep visiting home.

    Mac rocked California tonight. Seriously. My favorite part of the night was when Third Day, Jars of Clay and Switchfoot all got on stage together and did a cover of U2’s “When Love Comes to Town”. Yep, you know you wish you were there.

  14. posted on Sep 27, 2008 at 7:39 AM  |  reply

    You can come back to Nashville, and come to my house!!! We will take care of you girl!

  15. posted on Sep 27, 2008 at 10:28 AM  |  reply

    Aww. Home sweet home will change you, I know.

  16. Eve
    posted on Sep 27, 2008 at 12:17 PM  |  reply

    Wow Annie, I love this post!

    I have found that moving away from home and family just makes us truly appreciate them more. We grow when we leave them and so does our love.

    There’s no place like home!

    I’ll be praying for you.

  17. posted on Sep 27, 2008 at 12:44 PM  |  reply

    I am so glad to now know we are kindred spirits in the love language department. Because hugs and pats and other such touchy affection are not for me….But I can just imagine how precious the touch of loved ones must be like when you live so far away. You’re breakin’ my heart!


  18. posted on Sep 27, 2008 at 2:46 PM  |  reply

    I can completely understand what you are talking about. I’ve been away from home for two years and have become a complete touchy-feely wacko when I’m around people that aren’t in my physical life. I just HAVE to touch those I’m with, if I love and miss them. I can’t help it. I see myself doing this – like an out of body experience – but can’t help it.

    I feel uncomfortable if we AREN’T touching.

  19. posted on Sep 28, 2008 at 8:46 AM  |  reply

    Awww … you are making me feel homesick for you.

    And BTW, I am also not a hugger. And the thing about this is, here in the South, they like to hug ALL THE TIME and even kiss on the cheek.

    I just feel like it’s not genuine if you hug every time you see someone. Just know, if I ever hug you … I MEAN IT.

  20. posted on Sep 28, 2008 at 3:49 PM  |  reply

    i’m a hugger, for sure.

    maybe you love me because you hug me too!! =) i miss you downs!

  21. posted on Sep 29, 2008 at 2:17 AM  |  reply

    I joke that my love langugage is sarcasm.

    Only I’m not really joking.

    And I’m not a big hugger either. Or a small hugger.

    I hope Nashville hugs you soon.

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