From my journal, dated June 24th 2013
Homecoming: you have no idea. Never before have I felt so many emotions at once, such joy, such nostalgia. To be fair I was super tired, and we all know I get emotional when tired, but still.
It was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life to walk through my home again after 10 months. I’d actually forgotten quite a bit, but then it all came rushing back at once. This place is full of memories, and is, for me, the epitome of comfort; it’s home.
That first night back, I felt like a houseguest, or mental patient returning home. My family’s talk treaded carefully so as not to agitate or distress me. “If you wake up in the night you can help yourself to a fruit”; that type of thing. Even limiting myself to a few rooms that night didn’t stop me from becoming so emotional that I retreated to the bathroom, where I literally sobbed and sobbed. As I gasped, “I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back,” I then realized how truly homesick and/or unhappy I had been. I was just so glad to be back.
In the morning things looked brighter, as they always do. I’ve been home a week now, and I’ve enjoyed a local street festival with my parents, going to our favorite restaurant with my grandparents, hanging out with Stephanie, chilling at the pool with Alice, going for runs, going for a bike ride with my parents and Aunt Phoebe, having dinner with my high school friends, and watching a lot of Netflix.
I also went to my high school’s 50th anniversary reunion/party. It was fun to return to the school, reminisce, and talk to some old schoolmates and teachers (not to mention the all-you-can-eat food). The only thing that was a little hard, was to hear others gush about how much fun their first year at university was. And also to have to respond at least a dozen times to the question “How was your year?” with the only socially-acceptable answer of “Good” or “Great.” It was hard to fool them all.
I’m amazed at how easy it is to feel right back at home and pretend that last year was a dream and we never left.
After the reunion I hung out with some of my classmates, which is actually really fun. We weren’t always all the closest, but we’re still all friends. Danni brought beer, which made it more fun. I played my first full + legit game of beer pong, as well as Kings Cup. I biked home tipsy.
I’m a bit surprised/frustrated/disappointed that being home hasn’t gotten rid of all the background anxiety that I always feel. I think it’s maybe because I have quite a bit – who am I kidding, a lot – of free time to still feel that little bit lost and lacking purpose. But I don’t feel all that motivated to go out and find purpose… Maybe when the Netflix 1-month free trial runs out.