When my sister left for grad school “living at home”, became, “living with my parents”. My sister packed up, taking everything in her room but a lamp or two, two plastic bins, and the dust bunnies that had once been under her bed, and moved into a one-bedroom on campus. She had just turned twenty years old.
After that, whenever she came home for the weekend, she would live out of a suitcase in her childhood bedroom that had been refurnished in her absence. She brought her toiletry bag into the bathroom we had shared since I was six and never put anything in her cabinet or drawer, because she’d be leaving again soon. It felt like mom or our aunt going back to visit my maternal grandparents. But I soon realized that although I missed her, that wasn’t the reason for my odd feeling. She had left home, turning it into a place grown children return to, rather than a place to still be living amongst ten year old American Girl magazines and childhood art supplies. Yet I was still there, and I was only 17. Sure, maybe you can’t go home again, but it felt unfair that that had kicked in before I had even left.
It still feels weird. She’s back, but really she’s just crashing here while she works and looks at apartments. For the past year I’ve felt like I’m waiting on a bus or something, and I still do. I have less than a year until I finish college, and now my mom’s favorite topic is “staying and saving money”, which is sensible and rational, but sounds awful. I don’t want to sit on this bench anymore. I want to take the next bus. And I’m starting to not care where it takes me.
Unfortunately, I feel enough like an adult to not want to admit to living at home, but not enough like one to have other options right now. It’s really not much different from when I was seven and decided to run away. I decided what kind of sandwiches I would take with me, and then just stood at my front door not knowing where I would go.