Real life was kicking my ass. There's no other pretty way to put it.
Work sucked balls. My love life was a disaster. The chaos of the city was turning me into a jaded bitch. I was stuck in a vicious rut. I wasn't inspired about anything, and I just felt so behind on life.
But every time I tried to catch up, regroup and make things better, I just couldn't. Sometimes I'd cry about it, and other times I felt nothing (except hungover a lot, since cruising all the dive bars was the only way I didn't have to think about how shitty reality was).
And things really were shitty. So when I had my final quasi nervous breakdown, I decided to do something. I quit my job. I found someone to sublet my apartment. And I moved home. To New Jersey. (Womp womp.)
But I really was so excited. All would be taken care of at home. Free food. Bubble baths. Hugs from mom. I could be with nature. Walk barefoot in the grass. Visit my old stomping grounds. Read. Think. Breathe.
The change would be good. And it wouldn't be just a weekend trip like it had been in the past. I would be home home.
But time passed, and days turned into weeks, and I began to realize some things about being home.
1. I, like, really, really, really missed my mom.
It doesn't matter how old you are. Sometimes you just need to cry your eyes out and cuddle with your mom (especially when life has been sucking lately).
She'll listen to all your problems. She'll make you tea and grilled cheese. She'll give you beautiful advice. She'll take care of you like you're young again. And she'll tell you everything in life happens for a reason and you will be all right.
And you will believe her. Because in that moment, feeling so safe and so loved, you'll be able to get out of your head and realize (even if just a little bit, kinda, sorta) you are really, really lucky. Not everyone can just “go home” when life gets weird. And here's your mom telling you to stay as long as you need to get back on track with life.
2. Everyone from high school still lives here? And is married? With kids? *Drinks wine out of the bottle*
Like, everyone is married. It seems like everyone you knew from high school ended up staying, going to college nearby, dating someone who also lived here, got married to them here, settled down here and now have two kids here.
It's like they're all hooked up to ankle monitors that will buzz every time they leave the town line. I want to scream at them: A whole world is out there! You're brainwashed by mediocrity!
I just don't understand how they chose to stay. And it seems like all they have to talk about is babies and so-and-so's baby and the new Walgreens. I'm bored even thinking about it.
3. Suburbia is boring AF.
Like what do people do here? Within the first three days of being home, I'd already run out of my “Yeah I'm Psyched To Be Home!” to-do list -- like go to Target and buy crap I don't need, eat Sonic (cheeseburger with tots and a red slushie), drink cheap beer at my elementary school playground at night, go to the mall.
Like, seriously, what do people do here? Aren't they going crazy without any new restaurants or wine bars or concerts or art shows or book readings to go to?
Guess I'll go to the drive-thru Dairy Queen, walk to the mailbox and pretend it's exercise and try to catch lightning bugs.
4. I took a lot for granted when living here.
After living in the city for almost seven years, there are many, many things you miss like crazy from home. It's everything you've taken for granted when living there -- the simplest, most asinine things.
Like your mother's garden with all the herbs. Your father's wine. A refrigerator with food in it all the time. Bubble baths that you can actually take without having a roommate knock on the door. Stars. The sound of cicadas at night. Walking barefoot on sidewalks. The tally marks on the wall that kept track of your height since you were 5. (See? Sentimental stuff isn't always #vomit.)
5. OK, I'm ready to go back now. Like, really, ready.
I thought the moment would never come -- me missing my life. But it did. Coming home was exactly what I needed to get my mind straight again, to relax, to breathe. There was so much love and quiet.
But eventually I was ready to go back to my life. I missed my independence. I missed my room (not the one I grew up in). I missed the drunken debauchery with my friends (and not feeling so inadequate with all this “married with kids” bullshit everywhere).
I just missed everything I had hated when I decided to quit everything and go back home.
But that's home. As weird and boring as it can be sometimes, it kind of saved me from the mess I found myself in. Luckily, though, it'll always be there -- just in case my life decides to suck again soon (or if I'm just really craving Sonic).