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.
I felt the same when I went back to LA last winter break! I thought it’d be so much fun to be in the beautiful California and have my parents around to take care of my responsibilities, but it ended up that most of our time there was spent visiting their friends who we met when we were little little children but otherwise don’t know. I don’t have a license either, which is a struggle on the west coast, so I was left to their whims. I hope you find pockets of happy moments in the midst of all this! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s
Aww, thank you, Audrey! I actually thought of you while writing this post… I think I read one of yours where you shared a little about how you felt being in LA? Not having a license is such a struggle, and I don’t really see the point of waiting for ages at the DMV to acquire one when I’m only here for three more weeks haha. The ocean is so beautiful and I love spending time with my family… but I know I’ll be more than ready to leave on June 26th!! <3
I understand how you feel and must say the experience doesn’t really change no matter how old you get. Congratulations on your new apartment! It sounds like you have a busy and exciting few months ahead.
I suppose the experience doesn’t change much at all, does it? I was chatting with my mother and she said she still feels like a child when she visits her 88 year old mother in Texas. 😉
Oh, and thank you x 1000, Sarah! I am so excited for all this summer holds. <3
Hope you’re having a better time in SoCal than described. Could you possible get your driver’s license during the time you’re here. The DMV can be a pain though with its long lines and lack of appointment flexibility.
Your next trips and future prospects sound great! London and Toulouse! Hope it’s not all that bad down in SoCal.
Hi Ron, thank you! It has been lovely, but I can’t wait to be in Paris again. I’m only here for three more weeks so waiting at the DMV doesn’t seem worth it to me, hahah.
I underwent an internship last year and moving out of my parents’ house trying to live independently in a foreign country was quite a struggle for a few months too. I lived my whole life under their roof. And thankfully, I survived, learned many things about myself and life in general.. and I wish to do it again for a longer period of time. I would say I know how you are feeling and I also think it’s normal to feel that way. We will be fine. Hehe. I don’t want to list down all the negative things I never thought could happen to me.
Maybe I can share one though,
I worked in a ski resort and it was an hour forty-five minutes drive to the city. I don’t know how to drive so it was impossible for me to get a car (or the process of getting a car was difficult and I thought it’d add up on my expenses) so I purchased myself a bike from a thrift shop. My call time at work was five a.m. and sometimes earlier depends how busy we were. I had to get up three forty-five a.m. to get ready and start biking on my way to work with no street lights at all and praying that no bear or coyote would go on my way. Sometimes when it snows, I rarely get a ride. It was really challenging for me but I thought this is temporary only and someday things will be okay and it did.
I tried to find happy and good things despite my situation like looking up at the stars and sometimes encountering the eclipse, full moon and shooting stars. It was so magical and starry. I never thought starting my day would be about the moon and stars. Haha. I actually miss my life over there.
I’m thrilled to see and read more of your adventures in Paris, au-paring and what discoveries you will find soon. And… Welcome home Abby! xoxo
Oh, Karen, than you so much for sharing your experiences! I honestly find it so calming and inspiring to read about what others have been through, the struggles they’ve faced, and what they’ve learned. A 3:45 am wake up sounds incredibly difficult, and biking terrifies me! (Of course, I lack any sort of coordination and am quite clumsy haha) You truly are amazing, and you are so right – it’s only temporary will become my mantra throughout the difficult moments. Fortunately there aren’t *too* many here, and there are just as many lovely ones.
Merci again! xoxo
Yay for being home!
But what you are going through with having lived as an adult and now being back at home and treated like you’re still in HS is TOTALLY normal! I had the exact same problem after I lived in NY and went home for the summer. Hang in there!
Oh, Kayle, thank you so much! It’s so inspiring to hear that I’m not at all alone. XO
Oh how I (and so many others, I’m sure!) can relate completely. Keep your chin up, dear :). It’s only for a short while and then you’ll be back to Paris!
Aww, thank you, Laura! You are so kind and I just loving hearing that this normal and that I’m not alone. XOXO!!!
I know just how frustrating that can be. I think the hardest part about living in America is the lack of transportation (if you do not reside in a big city). It’s one of the most annoying things. Cars are expensive. Driving wastes so much time. I’m lucky enough to have a license and a car at my disposal but it’s definitely something I struggle with daily. It’s a lot harder to go on adventures and, well, avoid being bored when you have to waste time travelling, let alone find a way to travel. Hang in there! More adventures await you. xx Laura
Oh, you are just the sweetest! It is so true, though… even when I can get a ride with a friend or take an uber, the time it takes to get from place to place is exhausting. The California traffic certainly doesn’t help. 🙁 But it’s just for a little longer! And at least I have the beach! 🙂 XOXO