There’s a Welsh word that doesn’t translate to English very well: “Hiraeth.” It implies a sense of longing for a place, person or thing that doesn’t exist anymore, or perhaps never existed in the first place. Hiraeth is a deep, soul-sucking desire to be where your “spirit” lives; an unrelenting, inexplicable nostalgia for something one might not even know.

Paralyzed by growing pains combined with a global pandemic, I’ve come to understand the idea of hiraeth in direct relation to becoming an adult. Here’s the thing: I’ve previously misinterpreted my own feelings. I’m not lonely. I am a social being…

Jenna Mahaffie

Unapologetically me.

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