I have been living and working back in my hometown for over a year now. I write a lot about transitioning because that is what I have been doing for the past two years.
I graduated college to take an internship in a new city and new state. I went from being five minutes from friends and two hours from family to five hours from friends and 10 hours from family.
I spent a lot of time traveling and soul-searching. Right about the time I was used to the new area and new faces, I accepted a position at my hometown newspaper.
I didn’t know if I was making the right decision, but I considered myself lucky to have a position in my area of interest.
It hasn’t been easy. At times it has been boring, depressing, great and frustrating. Over the past 14 months I have learned (at least) six truths about moving back home.
1.) Your friends have changed
After being away for four years, you won’t have the same friends you did in high school. If you’re like me, you didn’t keep in contact with many people after leaving town. Although some people might still be around, you will find you don’t know them anymore… and honestly you might not want to. Most of the time there is a reason you didn’t keep in contact.
2.) Your friends haven’t changed at all
There are a few friends you’ve held on to. You can get together years later and pick up where you left off. You’ll find that after five years, friends have gotten married, had kids, matured, dated people and suffered break-ups. Although the topics of conversation will change, you will still be able to reminisce [and cringe] when recalling high school.
3.) You have changed
This is a big one. You don’t want to do the same things you did in high school. You don’t want to waste your time with people who are not positive influences, always pushing you to be better. Whether it’s a friend or a relationship, you don’t want to waste your time with people or things that are negative influences.
4.) You’ll be bored at times
When you move home (at least my home) Starbucks isn’t open 24 hours, Jimmy Johns isn’t open until 4 a.m. and your options past 11 a.m. are Wal-Mart, Kroger, a small, local bar or Buffalo Wild Wings.
5.) It is tough being single
When you see family and friends at holidays the first question they’ll ask is what you’re doing at work. The second question you will be asked is “so, are you seeing anyone special?”
And if your answer is no, you will get a look of pity or my personal favorite, the “you-still-have-time” response. Your friends will take it upon themselves to set you up with someone who is “so, totally perfect for you.” Also, if your friends are not single, it’s awkward to do things with them because they have “date nights” and you have “awkward-fifth-wheel” nights.
6.) You’re still figuring it all out
The other day I was talking to a good friend of mine and made a joke about how I’m a single, 20-something who is living with my parents, barely making it on a newspaper reporter salary and still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.
She reminded me this is what I want to do.
She said, “Oh come on, you’ve always wanted this. Although it might not be as glamorous as you imagined, you’re doing what you want to do.”
And she’s right. I always said I would make a career as a writer and figure out what I want to do and where I want to be before I got married and had children. I wanted to figure things out before settling down. So, when I get discouraged and when I think I’m a mess and don’t have anything figured out, I will remember that.
*All photos are from #thewriting.