I Am Home
home sweet home?
I have been home-sweet-home in Southern California for nearly four complete days, now. The sunshine is oh-so-lovely, the ocean and its calming waves are pure magic, and I simply cannot get enough of SoCal’s beautiful palm trees.
But… (of course there’s a ‘but’)
After living quite independently for ten months in Paris, returning to my parent’s home has been an honest struggle. From the moment I landed at the San Diego airport, I lost a significant amount of freedom and responsibility. Ironically, I was initially looking forward to a month with no ‘adult’ duties – no frustrating trips to the bank, no parcels of mine to retrieve from the post office, no running errands for daily necessities or dealing with my laundry… Essentially, I was thrilled at the prospect of being under my parent’s roof once again. But, though I love them dearly, I can’t help but feel a bit empty inside. Particularly when adults here treat me as though I am a child, or disregard my presence while my mother and father are around.
I suppose I have gotten accustomed to being both alone and considered a grown person because of this. In France I was responsible for obtaining paperwork and attending appointments that allowed me to legally reside in the country for a lengthy period of time. I booked doctor’s visits for myself, deposited cash, visited potential (at the time… I have a place for next academic year, hurrah!) future apartments… and navigated my way through the vast majority of these circumstances in French.
Now, I cannot help but feel slightly frustrated. I know I look younger than my age – a TSA officer in Newark mistook me for 13 – but I am highly capable. I do not at all intend to sound like an adolescent that thinks they have life figured out and know *so* much more than their elders. I am only 18, after all. But this past school year, I lived in an apartment in Montmartre (universities within Paris rarely, if ever, offer student housing), was responsible for keeping track of my house keys, purchasing the necessities of daily life, vacuuming my room, disposing of garbage, etc. Here, at home, I must wait for my parents to retrieve their house keys and unlock our front door. Without the metro or a California driver’s license (I never learned… I know…), I cannot get myself from place to place without their or a friend’s assistance.
I am back in a place similar to that of where I was this time last year. Desperate to explore and create and acquire freedom. Ah, well. A month from now my father and I will be in London. Two months from now I will be au-pairing in Toulouse. And the following month? In Paris, once again, in my new flat (which I am oh-so excited to decorate!), awaiting the beginning of my sophomore year of college.
I will surely enjoy my time home, perhaps more once the jetlag has fully worn off. And truly, I am grateful for my supportive, loving parents and enjoy their company. I just needed to vent a ‘lil.