We all love coming home for the holidays. There's free food, family, festivities, and did I mention free food? There's even a song about it, so you know coming home for the holidays is legit. When you haven't seen the fam in a while, and you've forgotten just what a home-cooked meal tastes like, its always nice to come home and enjoy the spoils. Unfortunately, as much as we love coming home, this feeling doesn't always last. In fact, you just might start to experience some flashing neon signs — signs it's time to leave your hometown, that is.
Maybe you've still only been home for a few days, and it hasn't hit you yet, but let me tell you: it will. If you've been gone from your hometown, even for just a few months, some of the spell is lost on you. You've been out in the real world. You know it's not you and this little corner of the universe anymore. You also know that if you have to hear one more person ask how that new job is going, or how your GPA is looking, you are literally going to puke in the nearest object that resembles a trash can. Sorry not sorry.
So, for better or for worse, you might find yourself realizing that it's time to head home. If you're experiencing two or more of these symptoms, I don't recommend calling your doctor. Instead, please board the next train/bus/plane out of your hometown, and book it home to your nice, warm bed. It's waiting for you.
1. Your Hometown Starts Feeling Like One Big Street
You start to realize that going somewhere really just means going around the corner — or down the street, or maybe to the mall. In other words, things are starting to feel very, very small. Maybe that's a good thing, normally, for you. But for some reason, it's just not sitting right. What's going on?
2. You Can't Avoid That One Girl From High School
You saw her at the grocery store. You saw her while you were going Christmas shopping for your grandma. You saw her at the pharmacy. Can't a girl fill her prescription in peace?! You know it's not her fault; you're on her territory, after all. But you know she's selling yoga pants or makeup or something, and you know that statistically, the more often you run into her, the more likely it is that the chat will turn from "How's your mom?" to "These are the best yoga pants you'll ever put on, I swear," and you're just not sure you can handle that right now.
3. You Ran Into Your Middle School Science Teacher
You and I both wish this one was a joke. But sadly, it is not.
You know it's time to get out of your hometown when a trip outside means a stunted conversation with none other than your middle school teacher. On normal terms, sure, you'd love to catch up. But now?! Here?! You didn't plan for this. You didn't expect this.
4. You've Stopped Buying Groceries
It's day eight in your hometown. You've stopped trying to go to the local grocery store out of fear of running into someone who vaguely recognizes you. You consider drastic plastic surgery for a beat too long. You convince your mom to run to Trader Joe's for you, and only feel slightly bad about asking her.
5. You've Taken More Questions Than You Can Bare
These holiday parties are happening left and right, and while you get food and booze at every one, you can't fend off all the questions being thrown your way. How's the boyfriend? How's the job? How are your grades? Your patience is dwindling.
6. That Pull-Out Bed Just Isn't Cutting It Anymore
There are a lot of relatives staying over, so you got the short straw and you're on the couch. Maybe you got to stay in your childhood bed, if you're lucky, but that just isn't as comfortable as it used to be either. Your back is not happy with you, and it's not taking "deal with it!" as an answer.
It's time to head back home.