I left Boston and moved back to my hometown.
Why? Well, myriad reasons. I made a list and everything.
At the top of the list is the fact that living in Boston is expensive. That alone pretty much finalized the decision for me.
It’s difficult to come home again. Already I’ve had to hear a lot of, ‘But you were so gung-ho to go to Boston. . .’
‘. . .And now I’m gung-ho to come back!’
‘For a job?’ ‘What are you going to do when you’re back?’ ‘Do you have a job here?’
‘Nope! I’m going to figure it out and see what comes my way,’ I say with a syrupy smile, not betraying my ultimate annoyance at these tired questions I’ve been hearing since graduating high school, never mind college and graduate school.
Even after I weighed the pros and cons and committed to moving, I second-guessed the decision every day, obsessing over my choice and waffling between being happy with the move and knowing I shouldn’t move, realizing moving was my best choice and feeling like I had failed. Of course I think moving back to my hometown is a good idea. Of course I think moving back to my hometown is a bad idea. Am I just doing this because I’m restless? And am I going to regret the move as soon as I’m settled in?
For all of my adult life, I thought of my hometown as a black hole. No one escapes its pull. Of course that’s melodramatic, but I still view my hometown through college-bound-teenager eyes. We’ve all gotten stuck there at some point or other: you had a kid while in high school, or you never went away for college, or you married someone you went to high school with and now you’re having kids or buying a house, or as part of the boomerang generation, financially forced to move in with parents. (And none of these are necessarily mutually exclusive.) I was not going to get sucked into the black hole. I envisioned my life like a bad Disney movie – and not the good Disney movies, I mean Disney channel, made-for-TV movie – where the coming-of-age heroine escapes her small-time town to make a name for herself and show ’em all back home! . . .So naturally I’m defensive when questioned about my choice to move back here. I’m not moving back into my parents’ house, so I’m not a boomerang. I don’t have kids or a husband. So what does that make me? Another overeducated, underemployed, 20-something statistic.