Today I was having a good day in London; brunch with friends followed by a walk down Brick Lane and a coffee at Nude. The summer had stretched right out to the start of November (almost unheard of) and I was celebrating reaching 100,000 followers on Pinterest. Then homesickness sucker punched me. I was hit hard enough to make me blink back tears on a crowded London street.
Its not anything specific. Of course I miss my family, of course I miss the trees and attitude of New Zealand. But this was just the feeling of insurmountable distance. I was an entire planet away from home on a crowded street drinking coffee by myself. There is not a single thing that can be done to ‘get over’ this feeling, the only way to solve a feeling of distance is to lessen the distance. But when I am settled in London, and I love my life here, shortening the distance is not going to happen.
Homesickness just sucks. There are times that you can predict it will hit you (Christmas, birthdays and the middle of winter when its summer at home), but being sucker punched is the worst of the lot. For the holidays and winter blues I can prepare, I can plan nice things to do and I can remind myself that in a few days it will all be over. But now I am just haunted by distance, the feeling of solid planet separating me from home.
I would love to know what flipped in my brain walking down a sunny street. What chemicals mixed to make me want to stop and tunnel through the planet. What was in that flat white?
I can understand smells, sights and sounds transporting you to another time and place, reminding you of what you are missing. But trust me when I say the smelly streets outside Liverpool Street Station held none of that. Maybe it was a trick of the light, the long winter sunset somehow reminding me of home, or even just reminding me of other times of homesickness in London.
So what is a kiwi to do? In that sucker punch moment I had no joy in my heart for this beautiful crazy city. The historic sights, endless museums or quirky street art was not going to turn my attitude around. Instead I went back to my flat and I wrote this post. I feel better for sharing this distance with my faceless audience. There is no magic pill, no solution, but by screaming into the wind I have pinned my homesickness to this post. And here it shall stay.