Helloooooooo everyone! It feels like years since my last post, even though it’s only been six days. But I always feel like vacation time is some sort of strange black hole that warps days into feeling like minutes or hours into feeling like years. Or something like that. I have no idea, I’m still completely exhausted and think that today is Monday.
Going home is always such a mix of emotions for me. On one hand, it’s nice to get away from the problems and stresses of my every day life and go back to a simpler times, when meals and basic necessities were provided to me without question and where I rarely have to make any decisions. On the other hand, because I tend to suffer from a bit of revertigo when I go home, I also find myself acting in a manner which Normal Me would find appalling but Visiting-Home-Again Me thinks is totally acceptable, such as throwing a temper tantrum when the PostCollegiate Parentals do not provide warm fresh kolaches at my first breakfast back.
Being back home is always this weird, schizophrenic mix of feeling unconditionally loved and accepted for the special little snowflake that I am while also feeling like the world’s biggest disappointment for my lack of career achievement/advanced degrees/impressive salary/numbers of lives changed through my actions. I vacillate between basking in superiority to Baby Sister for eschewing the option of ever moving back home and seething in jealousy when I realize what a smart decision it was. I love watching the PCPs discover the wonderful world of the Internet through their iPads, especially as PCD realizes that he can stream the Rachel Maddow show “just like on a real television” or PCM finally gets through the first three levels of Angry Birds. But then I worry if those little “senior moments” are just that or indicators of something more or if that nagging cough is a harbinger of another bout of medical disasters and it’s hard to enjoy the funny moments.
On top of my own parental-related crisis, this trip home was intensified by the inclusion of attending a conference for an organization that I’ve been involved with my whole life. The conference was fun – I love seeing little dudes dressed in tiny suits and catching up with old friends – but I hate, hate, hate having to do the “life recap” every five minutes. It goes something like this:
Yes, it’s hard to believe I’m almost 28.
Yes, I hope I always look this young – not that 28 is young but you know what I mean…*awkward laugh*
Yes, I’m still living in DC.
No, I’m not working for the museum anymore.
No, I wasn’t fired. It’s sort of complic–never mind.
Yes, I have a new job. It’s sort of complicated. I like my boss but I’m a little bored but I’m applying to grad school but it’s a tough economy but I have no idea why I keep rambling about this job.
No, I’m not married.
No, I’m not close to being married.
No, I’m not too worried about not being close to being married.
No, I’m not defensive about the idea of marriage. It’s kind of ridiculous when you think about it. Oh, you just got married? That’s great. For you. I mean, I think it’s a human right that should be afforded to everyone regardle- why are you walking away?
This is not an exaggeration. I’m truly this awkward in real life. And whenever I am forced to interact with people whose life choices are so different from my own (married at 24, brood of kids by 27, stay at home mom/supporting their family via etsy crafts), I find myself completely unable to articulate why I’m generally happy with my child-less, husband-less, craft-less lifestyle and why it’s actually pretty good to be me, despite all the confusion and worry and feelings of inadequacy.
After a weekend of giving of feeling like that, it was actually very therapeutic to spend my last night in town curled up on the couch with my fam, watching old episodes of Combat! – on an actual old-fashioned television.