What It’s Like When You Move Back

Skeletons or 23 blazers in my closet?
Skeletons or 23 blazers in my closet?

Packing your bags. Heading out-of-town. Fleeing the coup. Exploring new terrain. Catching you on the flippity flip.

There are many terms you can use to describe moving out of your parent’s house or out of your home town, but there is only one to describe moving back in: dread. You were free for so long! Your wings were open and wide and you never had to deal with curfews or awkward encounters with ex-peers again. Until now. Until you realized you aren’t free of it.

Not only am I still living with the rents, which I probably will be for at least another two years to finish college and get a job, but we are moving back to the town I grew up in once we moved from California. That’s a double whammy for the 20-somethings. With this, I have realized there are a few emotions we, poor, broken, almost-adults go through when having to either move back home after being on own one for so long or moving back to a town we thought we had been able to escape forever.

No, you don’t know me. Let me hide behind the apples. Sure, moving back home or back in town means you’ll be closer to those friends who have to do the same or never left, but that also means you’ll see the ones you don’t want to see…the ones you never really talked to but always seem to run into at Kroger and feel obligated to have a conversation with. Pretending to really look for the perfect apple or intensely search your phone for a way to sprint through a small grocery store without being noticed doesn’t work too well. This is worse that going to the 10-year reunion. This is what Hell is like.

Ugh, nothing has changed. The movie theater still has crappy, stale popcorn. The same gas pump at the Shell eats your credit card. All the teenage angst comes back to mind, and you hate everything in this town all over again. Hanging out at Waffle House at three in the morning seems stupid and childish and everything you were glad you left behind gets to throw itself right back into your life. But at least now your parents don’t care as much about your whereabouts 24/7. Keywords: as much.

What the heck, everything has changed! The old bookstore is now a Starbucks?! Okay, maybe that isn’t an awful thing. But, who are those children hanging out at my Waffle House? Why did my mom put the guest sheets on my bed? Hello, I’m still here! Also, where is all my sidewalk chalk? You donated it?! Why does the high school have a new entrance and parking lot? They couldn’t do that when I was there? They renamed the shopping mall? This place is supposed to give me equal parts nostalgia and grief…not just decide to change without my knowledge.

I guess everything doesn’t totally suck. Groceries aren’t emptying your wallet. The bars in the area aren’t totally un-visit-able. Using the neighborhood pool when everyone else is at work or school isn’t a negative. For the short time you have to be there, being close to your family and old friends isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen. Not saying I can’t wait to move out for real, but those two years won’t be unbearable.

Just like every part of trying to be an adult, some parts are awful, and other parts aren’t as bad as having to pay rent and eat Ramen for a week. Whatever, I’ll go have a drink with my friends in this town (because we can do that now) and start a savings plan.

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