Walking back from uni through the wooded path that still seems so out-of-place this close to the heart of the city of Brighton I feel tired, bone tired. Tired of well, pretty much everything. I’ve flopped into a wearing daily routine that’s slowly but surely eating into the happy little bubble I’ve created for myself here. Trudging onward though, my muddy boots slop around on my feet, battered and falling apart from over use – I make a mental, and then a physical note (because there’s way too much going on in my head for me to remember my boots) to remind myself to find new ones.
But then I stop. Actually, I kind of hesitate at a half step in my decrepit boots. I breath in. Shit. A farmer must have been spreading his fields to fertilise them ready for planting. A small smile creeps across my face, an almost intimate smile as I whisper to myself, “smells like home”.
Now, I’m still in the woods at this point so I probably look and sound like some crazy person talking to themselves in a shit scented area so I move on again, still smiling. But that got me thinking.
Home sickness isn’t something that really hit me at all when I got to university, on the contrary, I was happy to leave to find the feet I’d been stumbling around on all summer and even for a while before then. Granted, whenever I’ve been ill at university (admittedly often) on some level I’ve wanted my mum, as most of us do when we’re sick. But still, I’ve never really felt true homesickness like some of the people here do. Towards the beginning, some of the less ‘trained’ kids sort of took on a perplexed look as to why someone hadn’t done the dishes for them or done the cleaning. Some of them just looked sad and lost having found themselves un-parented for the first time.
But for me, home-sickness never truly hit, and it sort-of still hasn’t. Yes, I miss my mum. Yes, I miss my pets. Yes, I miss my baby brother. Yes, on some level I will always miss my hometown. But I guess I’ve realised that it’s just part of growing up. Children have to learn to be without their parents, and parents have to understand that they need to let their child grow up, look after themselves, lead their own lives. Even if it is hard.
You don’t loose those things you hold dearest, they’re still there, you’ll never loose them because they’re still a part of you, whether that be that a place, a person, or simply a thing. Even when you haven’t been able to go back to them for a while, the power of the human mind means that you can always visit in memory. Even if the trigger for those memories is, quite literally, shit.