Wow. If you’d told New College Grad Brooke that she’d still be living at home after that amount of time, she would have given you the finger and run off to drink something alcoholic.
(She has calmed down considerably. Only with the alcohol though.)
It’s very odd to suddenly find myself in the week before moving out of my childhood home permanently. Somehow, during the whole apartment-searching, house-buying, mortgage-applying process, that little fact failed to make itself obnoxiously visible.
I mean seriously, DUH SELF. While focusing single-mindedly on “the next step” in the process, I may not have taken enough time to appreciate fully what I was finally moving away from.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not in any way a shrinking violet, or an emotional cripple who can’t handle the prospect of finally attaining the goal of standing on my own two feet. Somehow, moving home after college wasn’t as difficult for me as I saw it was for some of my peers. Perhaps it was a result of being an only child.
It wasn’t EASY by any means. There was the normal push-and-pull of parents and a young adult just out of college who thinks that any rules whatsoever shouldn’t apply to them. “What!? I did whatever I wanted the last four years and you couldn’t say a thing about it! I’m not going to (insert random requirement here) now!” It was a matter of adjusting from living in a house as adults and a child to living as 3 adults who (should) contribute equally.
Over the last couple of days we’ve had countless moments of nostalgia when we’ve least expected them. Leaving for work the other day, and seeing my mom waving sleepily from the window… watching the kids walk toward the same bus stop that I used to wait at… settling in our various tv-watching poses for a good night of smut courtesy of “The Bachelor”… The ridiculous amount of guilt that I feel at the prospect of not seeing Mia every day. What is she going to think in all this?! Though I was in college for her first 3 years, I’ve been around continuously for 5 years since. She seems to notice now when I’m away at Army Boy’s for the night, and makes up for the absence with fierce cuddling when I come home. What will she think when I stop “coming home” every day or so??
Perhaps most pointed was when I was telling Army Boy about a conversation I had with Mom last night, and casually remarked, “It’s weird to think that this or that won’t be part of every day anymore.”
“You’ll still visit her,” he offered, as way of comfort.
*dagger to my heart!*
Those four words really drove home the enormity of the changes in the coming week. For now, though I am already in love with the house, and can’t wait to work with Army Boy at making it our home together, I know that it will take a while to feel as natural there as I do in the Home I’ve known for 18 years here in PA.
Though my Mom and I have driven each other crazy at times over the years, there’s nobody else that I want to talk to whenever I have any kind of news, or no news at all. I’m so lucky that I didn’t have to share her, it just wouldn’t have worked out for that other poor sibling. 😉
And who is going to defile my cereal boxes now? Or leave silly cartoon post-its like Dad did when he was on a different shift than I? Who’s going to steal any socks that I’m foolish enough to leave on my bedroom floor? (Not Army Boy, I hope.)
Part of me is not-so-secretly terrified that I’ll be psyched to leave for a while, and then declare “ok, all done!” What if I can’t sleep in the new house? What if there are dark corners and I drive Army Boy crazy until I’m comfortable enough wandering around alone at night? What if my cooking practice wasn’t enough? What if, what if, what if…
Granted, this is coming from the woman who didn’t look back as soon as college orientation started, and took to living away as naturally as a fish to water. I’m sure I’ll revisit her in the coming days, and be filled with excitement as I make my first house my own.
But for now, today, I’m still my parents’ daughter. And I’m enjoying it for a little while longer.