One of my favourite places in the house I grew up in has always been the attic. It has a special smell – of wood, and paint, and old clothes and memories. As a kid, it felt like a treat to go up and see all the hidden treasures we have. Old suitcases, toys, photo albums. It felt like (a slightly less magical) version of Narnia.

Today, there aren’t many traces of my presence left in the house. I moved out over 10 years ago. Sure, there are photographs of me on some of the walls, but a lot of its interior has changed. My stepmum asked me when I was there: “Do you not ever feel like your house is old?” She meant that it contained so many reminders of the past making it seem like an old life I’d left behind in a very roundabout way.

Truth is, I didn’t think my house felt that way to me – I felt more distanced. But all that changed recently. I previously wrote about how I ended up feeling the "ghosts" of my gran who I shared these walls with this visit. It was memories, jogged by being there. But there was another incident that re-connected me with my family home and someone else I used to share it with.

I’d gone up to the loft when I was over in May for the first time in a long time after asking my dad if any of my things were there. Squished in a far away corner I found it: one small box with my name on it. It was things I had left behind before moving to Scotland. Children’s books, some photographs of my friends and I, an old poster of the first big music festival I went to, and – wrapped in a blanket – Ziggy’s Book of Fleeting Thoughts.

Its first page opens with: “Come into my world and walk with me. Come into my world and you shall see what I have got to offer you among these pages of clues.” But, despite the title page, the words are not by the cartoon figure Ziggy – a caricature by artist Tom Wilson. They are the start of a poem written by a young girl who had been gifted the empty notebook by her younger brother on Christmas Day in 1980. They were my mum’s.

She had given me the notebook when I was a teen, the same age she was when writing those lines. Yet, I never saw its beauty until I held it in my hands again there.

The book contains dozens more poems. Poems about love and heartbreak, about loss, about identity and finding your place in the world. Poems about the pressures of wanting to achieve success. Questions about what the latter even means. Poems about the power of friendship.

It is strange how objects that are in their definition lifeless still have so much soul, or that they could conjure up so many emotions. But when reading this book, I felt so many things – mostly, I felt more connected to my mother than I ever did before.

For whatever reason – teenage rebellion, perhaps – my mum and I clashed for a lot of the years we spent together in the same space. Looking back now, I hate myself for thinking that way, but there was a time where I felt that I was so different and that I never would be like her. It does seem to be a common thing – I know hardly anyone who, when younger, joyfully recognised their similarity with their parents.

As you’ll probably have guessed, it turns out that I am a lot like her. From our shared sensitivity towards the feelings of others, to many mannerisms like our excessive talking, to our shared love of crime fiction and TV shows, and our love of reading in general. Our fondness for baggy jumpers and keeping a large collection of warm, knitted socks (potentially because we share the genes that seem to give us cold feet). Our love of Mexican food and shared taste in music – we both love Fleetwood Mac.

It was when I found out about the latter, only a few years ago, that I for the first time felt something like I am feeling now – a new connection and shared identity with her. One day, as she picked me up from the airport after we hadn’t seen each other in over a year, I asked if I could play music in the car. “Not too loud,” she answered. I ended up playing Tango In The Night, and she instantly gasped: “I listened to this a lot during college” and we found ourselves together singing to all of its songs (pretty sure she even turned up the volume). She shared her college memories and I felt like I was getting to know her better by the minute.

Today, we are very different from then. I am very close to her now, despite her living in the USA. However, reading the notebook of poems she had given me, I was overwhelmed with how much her thoughts resembled mine. So many of the verses I read were questions I posed to the universe. The challenges depicted in these lines are ones I grappled with myself. Much of the book could have been written by me.

It made me realise she understood a lot of the things I once accused her she didn’t. It made me view her with a lot more nuance than I have ever allowed her to have. Because for long, she was "just" mum. Reading her thoughts gave her the depth I should have always seen but didn’t allow myself to.

Finally, it made me realise that she too loves writing. For a long time, well before I ended up considering it to be a career, I have used writing as a form of a therapeutic tool. I always wondered where it came from and there I had my answer. I too have been writing letters to myself and others as a form of digesting thoughts. Sometimes I even write poems – not enough I have to admit.

So, I have set myself a task: half of Ziggy’s Fleeting Thoughts notebook is empty, and I am going to fill some of its pages. Who knows, maybe one day someone will find this new version of the book tucked away in a loft, read my words, and learn something new about me.