I’ve moved from Boston back to my hometown. Why? Well, myriad reasons, really. I made a list and everything:
At the top of the list is the fact that I’m broke. That pretty much made the decision for me. But this move is about more than that.
It’s difficult to come home again. Already I’ve heard too much 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.
Then yesterday, not even 24 hours back here, I go to open a bank account, and the teller supervisor looks at my ID and says, ‘I recognize that last name. . .do you have an older brother?’ And just like that, I’m 14 again, known as Dan’s little sister. And what can I do but smile?
Even after I weighed the pros and cons and committed to moving, I second-guessed the decision every day, obsessing and waffling between being happy with the move and knowing I shouldn’t move; realizing moving was my best choice, and feeling like I’ve failed. Of course I think moving to my hometown is a good idea. Of course I think moving to my hometown is a bad idea. Am I doing this just because I’m restless? And am I going to regret this 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. Of course that’s melodramatic, but I still view my hometown through college-bound-teenager eyes. We’ve all gotten stuck here at some point or another: because you had a kid while you were in high school, or you never left to go to college, or you’re a part of the boomerang generation financially forced to move in with parents, or you married someone you went to high school with and now you’re having kids and buying a house. I was not going to get sucked into the black hole. I knew I was destined for something more. I made my life into a bad coming-of-age movie where the teenage heroine escapes her podunk little town to make a name for herself and show ’em all back home! . . .So, yes, 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 a husband or kids. So what does that make me? Another overeducated, underemployed, 20-something statistic.