Saturday, November 8, 2014

Missing Home

Growing up sucks kids.  I wouldn't suggest it to anyone.

Even if you choose to stay in a perpetual state of child -like wonder, sooner or later the confounding realities of adulthood are going to pound you in the face.  Bills, obligations, worry and more bills are going to chase you down and shout in your ear "be a grown-up!" or they will just hover outside of your bubble of comfort and whisper "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching yooouuu!" and all the while you are covering your ears and knowing that inevitably they will follow it up with a menacingly mocking "...yet".

At the moment I'm homesick.  It's a funny thing.  You get older and your definition of home goes through some pretty sweeping changes and yet stays exactly the same.  I want to go home to my mom and dad's house in Pennsylvania.  I want mom to make me a cup of tea in a room that's entirely too warm and for my father to sit with a magnifying glass trying to figure out the dates on well worn pennies while a football game blasts at top volume on the television.  That version of home will never exist again and although my rational mind knows my parents live in a nursing home and their house belongs to someone else my heart still clings to a different definition.

I want to be with my family, but my family is spread out all over the place, and coordinating every one of their schedules and lives into a convergence seems an impossible challenge.  Even finding the time to break out of our day to day grind is maddeningly implausible.

I'm impressed with the idea of "vacation" but I don't understand it.  The people around me at work seem to find a week or two out of the year and use it to travel and relax, to go to the beach or visit friends.  I wonder how they save for these breaks.  Every time we put something aside for a possible vacation, some wrench gets thrown in the works and we end up using the money to fix the car or one of us winds up with a cold.  Vacation doesn't seem any more of a possibility than my mother fixing me tea or falling sleeping in my childhood bedroom.  It all falls I into the world of "not gonna happen" which has become an all too familiar destination.

I think people with children get distracted from these realities.  It is hard to worry about what you left behind when you have a little one's future to consider.  When you become the mom you anchor someone else and become the new home base.  My nieces and nephews all have their own definitions of home, and at the very heart of it lies my sisters and brother.   At this point in their lives they are still connected to their parents and they still get to "go home" to their memory of childhood.  I envy them that.  I hope they appreciate it while it lasts.  As a person who doesn't have a child to pull them into the next phase, I wonder where that leaves me.

The only break or vacation I seem to take is finding an hour each day to write.  The actual writing almost always starts too late, and then I can barely wake up to go to work to make the money to pay the bills which only seem to get deeper.  Even if I won a magic lottery that took the debt away and kept some of the worry at bay, I still wouldn't get to the "home" I long for.  I wish my heart could listen to the way it has been redefined.  I love my husband and the life we have here.  I love my dogs too although they aren't the kind of "children" most people find legitimate.  I would love to be more satisfied with the present and appreciate the things I do have a little more.  I keep trying, but I've been falling short.

 What I really need is a vacation from my feelings, but writing them down helps.  So, if you're reading this, don't worry about me.  I'm just trying to process the fact that I went and became a grown-up by accident.

I blame my stupid heart.

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