Going back home as an adult is always different. Childhood holds so many memories: youth and freedom, playing till dark and feeling bored; the yearning for something more that adolescence brings, testing boundaries and purposely choosing a different path. I have all those memories of my family and more. I love my family and my memories all very dearly. And coming back to them again and again as I get older and have lived away from them longer becomes more and more interesting.
I'm not sure why this time around feels different; I'm noticing more, contemplating the differences more. Maybe because of moving to Portland, actually. Having made that move as an adult and purposefully choosing my path there has made me more aware of many things in my life. I guess it would follow that taking a trip back home would follow in that line of thinking.
Some things I have noticed:
:: I like cooking with good kitchen tools.
:: I like cooking with whole, natural foods.
:: I like time to myself and am used to some time to myself.
:: I am no longer used to humidity (if one can ever "get used" to humidity).
:: I don't (entirely) think like a Midwesterner anymore.
:: I value the good communication I have with my husband and the work we do to keep it
:: I love the freshwater here and miss it.
:: I still like to help people and be in the middle of things and am also still learning about
keeping my own boundaries intact.
:: It's possible to have free time when you have aunts, uncles, grandma and grandpa around!
:: I am fortunate to have a great support network of moms and friends where I live.
I grew up in the same family as my siblings and, just like them, as I have made my own choices, I have created the life I now live in Portland. Choices like taking unpaid internships in Telluride, CO, moving to Boulder, choosing to eat well, moving to Portland, OR, making food from scratch, sewing things, building friendships with different people.
I do oftentimes question where I am in my life and where I want to be headed. For me, it's important and nice to be aware of my decisions. Granted, sometimes I get too carried away in my head and need to tell myself to hush. But overall, I like being present in my days, in my life.
And so, as my time here begins to wrap up, I am aware of the similarities and the differences. The things I will miss (help!, siblings, drinking, beach time...) and the things I will be okay letting go of. My life these days is where I have made it - in Portland, with my husband. As much as I miss the family I grew up with and as much as I wish we could hang out more often and more easily, the life I have made and am making is a good one. And one I enjoy very much. I will be ready to return to it when the time comes.