In my last post I talked about this idea that I’m in this point in my life where I just feel like I need more time to complete the never ending to do list and more time for myself. In this post I wanted to delve into some more thoughts that I’ve been thinking up recently related to this.
As I said in my last post, I recently went back home for the summer and spent a few days each in London and Dubai. I always find going home such a strange experience because it’s something that I look forward to so much during the semester; when I’m on campus, the thought of going home to a familiar house, my bed, and to home-cooked meals is what keeps me going. But I’m sure that most college students can relate to the feeling that when you actually get home it feels slightly weird because you realize how your college environment, even though it may not be as nice of an environment as home, has become so familiar that it is home in a sense. My college bathroom may have mold spores growing inside, yet it still feels strange to be away from that bathroom and in my nice clean one at home if you know what I mean!? A sort of similar feeling to when I go home and even though I absolutely love lounging around, taking more of a break, and being treated by my family, it also feels sort of weird to not have my daily schedule of studying with friends and going to my regular workout class. I find these feelings strange because I think of going home as a reversion to what’s familiar to me and just feels easy, but it’s kind of paradoxical that these environments and routines are actually what start to feel out of place.
I recently went home to Dubai for a week and I felt exactly these feelings. It felt like such a novelty to be in a clean house (with no mold!) and to have my own space. Even though I was still working, as I mentioned in my last post, it still felt like such a treat to just be in my home environment and eat dinner with my family every night and spend some time everyday with them. I feel as though when I’m at college, I’m constantly thinking ahead to plan my next day, check of adulting items on my to do list (like working out when to stock up the fridge, what supplies need replenishing, and what bills I need to pay), and just making sure that I have everything covered because I’m responsible for it all myself. Something I love about coming home, even if it is for only a week, is the fact that I’m taken care of! If I don’t leave home without a key, that’s fine. I don’t need to work out public transport to get somewhere because my family will drive together. And if I forget my wallet at home, then I’m not completely stranded. I feel like this is something that people don’t talk about enough! The idea that when you’re living on your own you are always on call and have to think five steps ahead. It honestly kind of scares me that there will be a point in my life where I’ll be a real full-fledged adult and I won’t have a summer or winter break to come home and be taken care of!
And so, as I sat on my flight out of Dubai I was reflecting on all of these thoughts – partly because I was feeling a little sad leaving home and partly because I needed content for a blog post 🙂 And I was thinking to myself, how nice it was to be at home and taken care of for a week, what if I lived closer to home and experienced that more often? Or what if I didn’t use my summers productively and just took a summer to chill at home? What would that be like? And this just got me thinking about the concept of moderation. The reason that being at home and being taken care of is such a novelty to me is because it’s something that I only have access to twice a year. If I lived at home all year around I’m sure I’d get frustrated with my family, just as they’d get frustrated with me. I probably wouldn’t feel as fulfilled because I think the ambition and independence of living and working away from home is something I need in my life. Similarly, when I come to London, I get to see all of my extended family. I go over to various aunts and uncles’ houses for dinner and hang out with different cousins, which is all really fun, but I often find myself thinking in the back of my mind – what if I lived close enough to home to make these meetings regular and not something that only happens a few times a year.
I’m a weirdly introspective person, so I find myself thinking about these things a lot especially recently as I’ve had such limited time at home to soak up these moments. I absolutely love my life out there in DC; some days may be rough and sometimes there’s a lot of stress, but I love the activities, routines, and people that I have out there and who I’ve developed into as a result of all of that. So I think to myself, “huh, coming back home and having all of these wonderful novelty feelings are great but… maybe they are just so great because I experience them in moderation.” The life that I have out in DC is one that I’ve built because I’ve listened to my own ambition and discerned what is important to me in building a life out there. So, there’s obviously a reason that all that discernment didn’t lead to me choosing to stay at home and close to family at this point in life, in other words there’s a reason that I have those experiences in moderation instead of in everyday life.
So everytime I feel sad when I step foot in the airport to leave home, that I don’t get to just pop round to a relatives house, or that I don’t eat dinner every night with my family anymore, I just think of the concept of moderation. I’m on my path doing what I’m meant to be doing and there’s a reason why that path led me that way – the fact that I only get these experiences and moments in moderation means that they’re all that much more sweeter!
Just some thoughts that have been top of mind – let me know what you think in the comments.
See you next week,