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.
Here are some of my favorite things I’m reading, watching, looking forward to etc. at the moment (meaning this week, not this exact second).
Book I’m reading: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
What just played on my Itunes playlist: I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love Tonight by The Outfield
Favorite inspirational sayings this week (I have two)
Last magazine I purchased: March edition of Vogue; Beyoncé is on the cover
Workout of the week: Complete body workout, a five-disk DVD collection by Jillian Michaels
Favorite Dr. Seuss quote (in honor of the March 2 birthday): “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Favorite “not impressed” face: President Obama and gymnast McKayla Maroney
Last movie I saw in theater: Snitch
Essie nail color: Butler, please
Indiana University basketball will face Ohio State on senior night. Derek Elston, Christian Watford and Jordy Hulls are pictured below.
And the moment that touched my heart this week: A high school basketball player threw the ball inbound to the opposing team’s manager, a boy with a developmental disability, so he could score a basket. It was a moment of true sportsmanship. The manager made the basket and the crowd rushed the court. It gave me chills.
I was listening to a radio station recently and the announcer said a study has shown people don’t smile before noon on Mondays. Given, I don’t know where the study originated or if it has any truth to it, but what is it about the beginning of the week that causes people to have the Monday blues, be grouchy, etc.
Friday and the weekend are five days away so we might as well make the best of it instead of wishing time would speed up. It goes fast enough already.
Seek new horizons
Be your own compass
Get a new perspective
Take the time to read
and don’t take yourself too seriously
Today was one of those days. The day you plan to wake up and be productive and you end up sleeping in.
I planned to wake up and workout early in the morning before work, but ended up sleeping in with just enough time for a quick shower before I had to leave. (I ran out of the house with damp hair and a cup of coffee).
Then I spilled that entire coffee in my car – luckily I have leather seats, but my car still smells like Hazelnut.
However, once I got to work I watched/read two things that made my lazy mood turn around.
I re-watched the Kid President video (Yes, I’m a little late to the game as far as posting it) and an article from the Wall Street Journal.
The Kid President video has gone viral and I love it. If you’ve already seen it feel free to watch it again and if you haven’t – enjoy. It is the perfect amount of feel good and inspiration for the midweek.
Some of my favorite Kid President quotes:
“Not cool Robert Frost.”
“It’s like that dude Journey said don’t stop dreaming…Unless your dream is stupid then you should get a better dream. I think that’s how it goes.”
“What will be your Space Jam?”
Second, I read this article (after a co-worker at my newspaper pointed it out):
The Wall Street Journal article by Russell Adams is about a group of grown men who have been playing a game of Tag for 23 years. This game is only considered live in February and whoever is tagged last in February is “it’ for the entire year.
This game of tag has involved people sneaking into houses, hiding in bushes and buying plane tickets to tag someone in a different state. One of the men (Father Raftis) hid in the trunk of a car while another player was outside of it. When he opened the trunk Raftis jumped out of the car and tagged him.
This article is the perfect example of how friendship can withstand time, aging and how something as innocent, fun as a game of tag can bond people together.
I couldn’t help but share these two things and I hope they are as inspirational to someone else as they are to me.
As the Kid President says: This is your time. This is my time. This is our time.