HOME

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Recently, I have come upon a few articles on homesickness. The yearning to be surrounded by the familiar – to feel complete and safe. I will admit, no matter how far I adventure, I always feel the twist and pull in my stomach when I think of home.

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Home to me, means nightly runs in the Botanic Gardens – watching the late evening sun stream through the trees and bypassing the vibrant hydrangea patch. I honestly think it is one of the most magical places on earth. Home means lying in bed, reading, and occasionally looking out at the dusky evening sky through the tall window. Home also means food. We eat. And then we eat some more. And then we brunch and lunch and have coffee dates. Home is the familiar sweet scent that hits me as I walk through the front door and see the dog trot towards me. It is the mass of daisies on the grass and the large silver birch tree in the sheltered back garden.

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But mostly, home is about family. I feel as though I have done a lot of growing up in the last year. I have always adored my family of course, but in recent times, my appreciation for them has blossomed. Who else could get away with saying you look like shit as you get off the plane. Who else will spend the car ride home swearing at Jetstar because they charged excess baggage – even if you were taking the piss by being 8kg over. Who else will offer to eat all the bread at dinner for you, because it makes you bloated but the temptation is too much to bear. Who else will drinkย rosรฉ with you in the back garden – oh wait, most of my friends would do that actually. But it is all love.

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It is probably all in my head, but it is as if I turned 30 and my vision shifted. I spend less time worrying about what I can’t control, my past mistakes and future fears – this shift created a space in my thoughts for all the things and people who matter.

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Working steadily towards a huge goal, in my case my PhD, can often lead us down a path of obsession and a little sprinkle of madness. I have spent the last couple of years with my vision tunnelled. But now that I am out the other side, I see how often I put my goals and desire for success above enjoying humble daily pleasures.

Luckily, there was a little lesson in this perception of lost time. It’s ok to get goal focused, but if there is ever a time when we forget how to belly-laugh, or sing Lionel Richie at the stove whilst cooking spaghetti, or sit and listen to our loved ones with every cell in our body, then it’s time for a smack upside the head.

Home can be anywhere. When we feel homesick, I think what we are seeking, is belonging. And nothing says belonging like being with the people who love us, in spite of our weirdness. Wherever that bunch is, be it your blood relatives, or the clan you have chosen for yourself, that is where your heart truly calls home.

Much love XX

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Photos: Katie Appleyard

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Hi, Iโ€™m Katie. I am a kiwi neuroscientist with a love for consuming and creating content. This site is where I share my personal thoughts and the thoughts of incredible minds from around the world. PhD in Neuroscience, University of Otago.

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