When you grow up in a small town, you reach a point where it’s time to say goodbye and let the comfortable safety of home fade in the rearview mirror. However, sometimes moving doesn’t turn out the way you hope and you end up back in your small hometown, living with your parents. And sometimes, awesome things happen when you come back home…
1. Living back with the family.
Reality: While I love the homemade cooking and the absence of sending a rent check out every month, if I have to open one more text message that asks when I’m coming home, I might go crazy. Mom, you do realize that you had no idea when I was coming home when I lived in Miami, right? I lived 1300 miles away and you had no idea what I was doing or where I was. The chances that I’m getting into more trouble in this small town with a circumference of ten miles are slim to none. Also, do I still have a room? Can I at least have a drawer?
2. Never running into an old flame.
Reality: There is not another town in the country that I can go for a workout and run into at least three old beaus. And it will usually happen right after you blocked me when I messaged you telling you that I was coming home. And you will probably stop mid-workout and leave the premises the minute you notice me. And that is just one hour of the day, prepping to go out includes at least 20 minutes of prayer that I won’t see anyone that I don’t want to see. However, without fail, I walk into the local bar and see at least five guys and will probably end the night in the corner making out with one of them consciously aware of the deep regret I will face a few hours later.
3. Hanging out with the besties, but oh… wait…
Reality: When I was sitting alone in my apartment in that foreign city where I could count my friends on one hand, I got homesick pretty frequently thinking about the amount of people I’d be able to invite over if only I were back home. Well now that I’m home everyone wants to see me — except no one ever seems to have the time. Most of them have boyfriends and jobs and now I’m back to square one on the couch binge-watching Netflix and submitting my resume to any job posting I see in between episodes.
4. Going on tons of dates.
Reality: One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve readjusted my Tinder and OKCupid locations back to my hometown is that everyone is still the same. Literally, I see all the same matches I saw nine months ago and have since received messages like “Oh you’re back?!” or “I know you!” Yes, I’m back, no you don’t know me. That was one date. One. And there’s a reason for that minimal number. I left for a few months and think the dating pool may have been drained and refilled- but no, it’s the same old murky water still lingering around.
For some reason, I had it instilled in my brain that coming back to town would be new and exciting. That things have changed and I will forget all the reasons I left. While I love my hometown and my family and friends, sometimes you are just not ready to be back. Sometimes you’re not ready to see the memories of the college years when you and your girls took over the city that never sleeps. Sometimes you’re not ready to drive by all the places you went out with those guys and have to relive how it ended all over again. Sometimes you’re not ready to go from living alone to a house of five people. Sometimes coming home is just a mini-vacation and after a few weeks, it’s time to go out in the world and find who you’re supposed to be. Sometimes you need time to appreciate these things. Maybe that time hasn’t come yet.