I didn’t grow up on the Isle of Wight, but it’s where my parents have lived for the past six years – and their home is my favorite place in the world.
I like to live with my friends in London, but there are days when I have a headache over my parents’ kitchen: we all argue about how long you should cook rice while someone tries to determine who’s fed the dog; January rain pounded on the windows and the radio flickered in and out of the stillness.
It’s the little, ordinary things that I suffer; the small, idyllic moments that make up the place I call home.
My homesickness often feels physical. It makes my insides harden and loosen to the same extent; My ribs contract and my throat tightens, while my stomach stretches like a loose thread on a t-shirt. I felt completely lost, like I had been picked up and sent somewhere I didn’t belong.
It doesn’t take much; One quick phone call with my mom while we were on our respective walks – I was at the park near home, she took the dog for a walk in the woods near home – and homesickness flooded me like a shower.
I rarely talk to anyone about this feeling; instead, I’ll hang up the phone and try to focus on the good things immediately around me at the time (of which there are nearly always plenty).
Sometimes, I can successfully distract myself. At other times, homesickness persists – a determined, gnawing weight in my stomach that doesn’t stop me from living my day-to-day life, but carries it with me.
Homesickness is a common feeling for bedtime children or students during their first days at university. But I am living proof that adults can also experience homesickness.
There is no age limit on who can aspire to a place to live and to whom they call home; in fact, my homesickness has only gotten more and more pronounced as an adult.
I went to boarding school, and I used to have a horrible longing to get back to my parents when they said goodbye and drove away – but for me, it rarely lasted more than a few hours. There wasn’t any time to focus on longing for my childhood bedroom at school. We are all surrounded by our colleagues at all times, rarely having more than a few minutes alone at any given time (if at all). The distractions are endless.
But in London that is not the case. If I had one free evening or one free Sunday left, my thoughts would spin freely in my head, and I would find myself yearning for the place where I felt happiest: the place where I felt feel like the truest, uninhibited version of yourself; where I felt every muscle in my body gradually relax, like I was in a hot tub.
Thanks to pop culture like Friends, we often assume that our twenties are the best, most independent years of our lives. It is the time when we can finally create a life for ourselves in our own image; the time that our friends become our family.
Of course, this is often the case; and I’m not suggesting that I spend every waking minute of my waking hours in London longing for the Isle of Wight. I love my friends and all that London has to offer, and most of the time I am very happy.
But I often don’t find it easy living away from my parents and their home; partly because I am ashamed of my homesickness.
It’s not something to be ashamed of, but neither am I. I’m a grown woman, with rent and bills and the freedom to hang out and get drunk on Tuesday nights if I want to. I shouldn’t be homesick: right?
Wrong. Age has nothing to do with it.
Homesickness is not something we just ‘grow up’. If there’s a particular place in the world where you personally feel safe and completely, without fault, it’s normal not to be there – especially when your day-to-day responsibilities and the worry of spreading Covid to your loved ones. what that means is that you often don’t know when you’ll be able to go there again (I remind myself many times how lucky I am to be able to return to my home).
Over the years, I began to talk more with my friends about the homesickness I often felt. Here’s what Covid has strangely helped – I spent a lot of time living at my parents’ house during the lockdown so now I feel more comfortable telling my friends how often I miss it.
But like anything else, I can’t take my own advice. I wouldn’t think there’s anything weird about it if a friend told me they’re feeling homesick; but when it comes to my own experience, I often doubt and judge it.
Fortunately, my friends have repeatedly told me that there is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed to be homesick. And I slowly began to believe them.
It’s okay to feel uninhibited leaving the place where you feel you belong most. You can feel anxious not knowing when you can next return to a place that makes you feel safer than anywhere else on earth.
And it’s completely normal to be homesick, no matter what ‘home’ means to you.
The aforementioned pop culture stories often depict adults in their 20s and 30s who are overjoyed to have been freed from the shackles of their parents’ home and forged a new life. new life for themselves.
Of course, we all benefit from charting our own paths and seeking out new life experiences, and many have thrived on this.
But it’s also completely normal to find yourself yearning for an environment that makes you feel centered and cared for.
I’ve only just begun to accept it as a part of who I am – but I fully intend to continue to remind myself of the normality of these feelings. Because adults are homesick too.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/01/17/im-28-and-i-still-get-homesick-and-theres-nothing-wrong-with-that-15930967/ I'm 28 and I still miss home - and there's nothing wrong with that