Hi i’m Hollie, i’m 23 and I still get incredibly homesick. I’ve touched upon this subject before when I was at uni, but the whole thing feels a little more embarrassing given that i’m now a proper adult who repays her student loan, coughs up council tax and partakes in other such grown up things like checking when bin day is. lol.
So here’s the thing…I’ve lived on my own and away from ‘home’ (which to me, means Wakefield where I grew up and where my family are) for almost 4 years now. I moved to Liverpool for university when I was 18 and despite a stint in London, have made my life here ever since. My career is based near Chester, my boyfriend is a through and through scouser and my closest friends, that I see regularly were all collected from my uni days. My life is 100% in the North West, so why after all this time do I still get episodes of crippling homesickness for a place that technically isn’t even ‘home’?
My life hasn’t been in Wakefield for a long time and besides, it’s only a tiny market town that to a stranger probably looks like a bit of a dive. I don’t have any friends in Wakefield anymore, almost everyone has moved on and the only thing that ties me to the place is my family and memories. I don’t want to move back to Wakefield, I love living in a big city where there’s life and adult me found her feet, but there’s definitely a missing piece to my puzzle whilst i’m no-where near the people who sound like me and know what I mean by; ‘Argos corner’ and ‘the pie shop’.
My homesickness appears when I haven’t been back ‘home’ in a while and I feel sad that I can’t just meet up with my parents for a coffee, or pop in and give my Grandma a hand with my Grandad who is really, really unwell. Whenever I feel this way, and a home visit isn’t on the cards anytime soon, I tune into Ridings FM, our local radio station, if nothing but to hear the ads and news talking about places I know. Sound crazy I know, but your mind is weird place and can take somebody like me who has Asperger’s Syndrome down a dark old path.
I try to make the 76 mile journey ‘home’ as often as I can, but sometimes it’s not possible and up to 8-9 weeks can pass without seeing my family in the flesh. We’re quite a weird bunch whereby a text once a week is sufficient and we crack on with our own independent lives. And then because life has moved on since the days when I lived with my parents in the house I grew up in, when I do see them it’s rushed and it’s sometimes strained because we all desperately want this ‘big visit’ to be perfect. But one thing is always for sure, I return to Liverpool feeling energised, with a sense of identity again and remembering who I am! I think the problem is that i’m living an ‘inbetween life’ at the moment, where i’m not old enough to settle down and I haven’t got the money to whizz off on a world tour – which i’d very much like to do. I don’t really have anywhere to call home and my sense of community where I live, is lacking.
I guess what i’m trying to get across here is that home is where you are, but home for me is where the heart is. It’s my identity and it affects how I feel. I’m not sure what the solution is, i’ve tried a better balance, but life gets in the way. But it is normal to feel this way, i’m a great example of moving away and setting up a life elsewhere, but it has come at a cost. So if you see me and I look a little forlorn, it’s probably because I haven’t stepped on Yorkshire turf in a while.