» Home Sweet Home.
  • Home Sweet Home.

    Jul 02nd • Posted in love, personal, travel, writing

    homeAs a recent post-grad, I (like many of my peers) moved back in with my parents. For the first couple of weeks it felt strange. After living in Chicago for as long I did alone (well, with a roommate– but you know what I mean,) the lack of independence was stifling. Pair that with the laid back attitude of the islands, and transportation constraints: you’ve basically got my nightmare. However, as much as I bitch about living at home in Hawaii (and how much I wax nostalgic about missing Chicago,) I’m appreciating the fact that I live here. The past couple of weeks have been productive. Home is a wonderful place where I nurture and take care of myself. Sadly, the majority of my friends no longer live here in Hawaii– so I’m forced to really make do with hanging out with family or relaxing by myself. I don’t have a problem with this. It’s been really nice having the time for myself. I’ve been doing some pretty cool things like getting back into exercising. I kickbox/exercise three times a week and I’m pretty dead from all of it, honestly. The exercise has me feeling better about certain things and it doesn’t hurt that I always run to the beach after! (Above is a picture of Kailua Beach during my run through Lanikai.)

    But man, do I miss certain things about travelling and being in a major city. I miss the independence the most. However, there are some good things that come with living at home again (despite seeming like terrible things at the time.)

    My dating life has suffered greatly. This isn’t a bad thing. When I left Chicago, I left a world of hurt and a place defined by the men I love and lost. Chicago was a city where I claimed my independence through romantic prospects– and not much else. The things I remember the most about Chicago weren’t the academic triumphs and major career strides (though I had plenty of those,) but the memories I shared with various men. Some places became “my own,” like the Thai restaurant I would always take men after a couple dates, or the cocktail lounge in Boystown where I nursed my broken heart. I miss Chicago, but I’m grateful I’m not there right now. I left Chicago behind to run away from my strong feelings for someone who couldn’t love me back. However, I ran straight into the free-wheeling, crazy adventurous lifestyle that comes with solo backpacking. I met new people and fell a little bit in love with a few of them. I had short encounters that I’ll remember forever. I treasure the time I backpacked because I had no responsibilities. I was free. Until my past caught up with me, and then I felt as broken and lonely as ever. I wrote about it, and it sparked up a conversation between the person in question and myself. I gained the closure that I needed– but love makes you do crazy things, and that wasn’t enough. It may never be enough. The timing and circumstance of the situation only further convinced me that living at home would be the best thing for me. 

    While I hated it at first, being at home is teaching me how to be OK with being alone. I’m a person that defines herself by the relationship she shares with others, so suffice to say– being alone has never been my strong suit. Since arriving at home, I’ve had no less than three suitors confess their affections for me– after which, I politely let them down. (All of them have been men at a distance.) But being at home has given me the time to reflect on it, and I’ve become acutely aware that I am not in the space for a relationship, especially not with men who (in my gut) were not men I saw myself with for the long-term. Truthfully, the only person with that I could see myself long-term with is the Dutch man I’ve mentioned in one of my previous blogs. However, being at home has also taught me that distance is not something that I desire in my relationships. I’m tired of distances– physical and emotional. If I pursued any of these avenues, I’d be settling, and that’s not fair to them or to me. Home has taught me that being alone doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be lonely.

    Home is teaching me how to be alone, how to love myself, and how to take care of myself. I started a new exercise regime, and I’m working really hard it. Things feel lighter, and I’m working on being a better person. If I’m ever lonely, I have my friends to talk to. If I ever feel like flirting, the Dutch man is a Whatsapp message away. Living at home after a period of independence still feels a little stagnant, but in a good way. I’m refreshed and renewed. It’s forced me to examine my life in ways that I probably wouldn’t have, and forced me to be independent in a different way. I’m only here for a couple more months before I move to Oakland for grad school, so I’m savoring the moments I have here with myself.

    What about you? Have you had an experience like this? For those of you with post-grad re-roosting– what was your experience like?

    • Kuzuki

      I understand how you feel. I had no where to go and ended up living with my in-laws and it was tough. I wanted alone time and there were always there. I felt the same way about my hometown of Arlington. I left yesterday, but I left a bad life, a broken life there, but here in Euless, I can start anew. Maybe that can happen with you?


      • I’m really grateful for my parents allowing me to stay with them– no matter how much they deny it, I think they love that I always come home. As for you, I’m really glad you ended up taking some time to figure out what you wanted to do and then realised you deserved better.

        I’m moving to Oakland come August, so I’ll have a fresh start :)

    • Sharing some 20SB love! My freshmen year of college I left in the middle of the spring semester and moved home. College wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing at the time and I came home and found a job. The toughest thing was finding the balance between my parents understanding that my life and me as a person had changed and that I didn’t need to be constantly reminded about things (like setting my alarm to wake up for work). Very lovely post, thanks for sharing!

      • Good! I think a lot of people are pressured into entering college ASAP because that’s what society and the rest of the world tells us is appropriate. Ironically enough, you’ll see people in the rest of the modern world take off time for travelling or just to exist before they head off to school or whatever they’re doing. I’m glad you found somethign that you wanted to do and adjusted accordingly. My parents are relaxed, though they’ll always be overprotective so there’s a bit of a power struggle at times, but it’s interesting to see how they react when they’ve noticed you’ve grown up a bit.

        Thanks for the 20SB love. Sending some back!

        • I briefly threw the idea of taking a year off between high school and college when I was still in high school and my parents freaked out about the idea. I think each person is different when it comes down to it and how independent they are and how much they’re invested in what they want to do with their life from the starting point. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t taken the route that I did! But I agree, it is interesting to see how parents react when they realize things are different now that we’re grown up a bit. :)

          • I think American culture is interesting, only because we encourage our kids to sort of power and hammer through the educational system- even when they’re not ready. Whereas places like the UK, it’s normal to find someone travelling by themselves on a gap year. I’m happy with the choices I’ve made and I’m glad you’re happy with yours :)

    • This was really beautiful and bittersweet to read. Even though I lived with my parents (and still do) while I studied, and also as a post-grad, because I only lived an hour away from campus, I could relate to so much in your post. I have never really been one to enjoy being alone — something I only discovered recently when I became very close to a male friend. I used to claim that I loved my “me-time”, but as I am getting older, I find that I am also letting go of old relationships, or relationships have changed. Those relationships that previously defined me are no longer stable or no longer exist. I, myself, have changed.

      There are also places I see as being mine, and even though I can still go to them (unlike you, having moved back home and so far), sometimes I choose to, or choose not to. However I feel at different points of time does not determine how close I am to those places.

      I like that you look on the bright side, and that you are slowly becoming used to what is home for you. I hope you’re not finding it too difficult <3

      • Thanks for sharing, Georgie! I understand you completely– changing is a natural part of life, one that I’m really grateful for despite not realising it at the time. I miss being in Chicago constantly, but even some of my ties there are starting to disperse across the world! It’s crazy to think about that, but it’s reality of post-grad life. I’m grateful that I’m great at long-distance relationships in any capacity, but sometimes it’s nice to have someone you can call up and see that same day. I think it’s important to let go of unhealthy relationships, but you’re right– as we get older, our relationships (and ourselves) change, and it’s easier for us to let go of someone who isn’t compatible with our new sense of self.

        Home is fine though! I’m actually enjoying it a lot more, and another post is going to come up soon about some positive changes that have taken place. :)

    • Holly Pryce

      I couldn’t imagine going back to live in the countryside after living in a city for two years at university. I get bored when I pop back just for a week! But sometimes it is good to go back home to relax and spend time with your family.

      • I love hopping a plane back home whenever I get the chance– but I am definitely used to living in a big city now, so it’s something that I have to learn to grow accustomed to. Seeing my family is fun :) I love them better from afar, but it’s nice to have them around.