So I was catching up on Cassandra's blog this morning and came across this post: The triumphant university grad moves back home. I know there are a lot of young adults who have either recently graduated or entered the workforce who are moving back home, and I know there are a range of opinions about whether this is a good or bad thing. This trend is in fact so popular that these young people (or, in some cases, not so young people) are being called "Boomerang children." While I have a lot of opinions on the issue, when I read Cassandra's post about moving back to her parents' house, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of envy: I [sometimes] wish I could go home again.
I grew up in a very small town in Texas. The population is just a hair above 1,000 and the nearest city is a good two hours away. The biggest employers in the area are an army depot (which experienced a series of massive layoffs and closures in the 90s), the electrical company, a tire company, and local schools. None of these are areas where I really ever saw myself working. So when I left home a couple of weeks after my 18th birthday to attend college in the big city of Austin (6 hours away), I knew that the chances I would ever come back were pretty slim. At the time, of course, that was incredibly appealing.
And, you know, it's not that I'm really dying to move back to my one-horse Texas town (actually, I'm not interested at all), but there are a lot of times when I wish my parents had chosen to settle down in a place that was a little more...centrally located. Because when I graduated from college, my parents' location meant that I never had the option to move back home, to take time to scope out the job market or to maybe even work in the same area where my parents lived to save money for a while. As soon as I graduated, I had to find a job and a place to stay and a way to pay all of my own bills immediately, and then when things went wrong or plans fell through, there weren't even any parents around to feed me a big meal and give me a hug and tell me everything was going to be okay. It's pretty stressful knowing that there is no safety net, that you rely on you and you alone, and that if you screw it up, you're going to be the one who has to deal with it. All of it. By yourself.
So...pretty much since I turned 18, I've felt pretty alone in the world.
I probably made all of this worse for myself by moving to Minnesota three weeks after graduation to become a flight attendant, and then deciding to move to Seattle and Portland to be closer to (but not close enough to) my long distance boyfriend. For the better part of the last two years, I've been 2,000 miles and some very long plane rides from my family and friends in Texas. And it's not so much that I expect any of them to take care of me, to support me, or anything like that. I mean, it would have been nice if when I'd gotten into my car accident, my mom had been there to hold my hand through the whole thing, or similar kinds of moral support things in bad situations, but really, I just miss the people I love. And you don't really realize how much you value them until they're not around.
They say you can never go home again, and while I don't think this has been true for everyone, it's certainly been true for me. And unfortunately, I haven't really been in one place long enough, haven't put down roots strong enough, to feel that any of the new places that have come along are home, either.