Lately, for the first time in my life, I've been feeling homesick.
Not only do I miss the ability to just get in my car and get lost on those windy roads through the redwoods and out to the coast, I miss the roads themselves, the coolness of the redwoods, the way the wind smells, the Russian river in the Summer, the pounding rain and the power outages in the Winter.
I haven't spent more than a couple of weeks at a time at home since I graduated high school. I spent semesters abroad, Summers on other peoples' couches or in other peoples' beds, Winters in New York, and of course lived in San Francisco while in culinary school, Santa Rosa after graduating and now Berkeley and I have never, ever been excited about the prospect of returning home. Occasionally, my grandmother mentions that I'm always welcome to move back home and I always scoff at the idea. Move back to the country? To the middle of nowhere with my family near by to make constant demands on my time? And pay rent for this? (In my family you pay rent when you move back home, less than they could charge a non familial tenant but still, no free rides.)
Right now though that little cabin ("the condo" as we jokingly refer to it) half under the redwoods is looking pretty damn nice.
Because I'm completely lost. I know I've written this before, but I've spent the last few years totally just focused on my career and waiting for Jacob to finish with school before making any sort of future plans for myself. This has meant that I've also spent all of my paychecks every month, have zero savings, plenty of debt (woohoo, everyone loves those student loans!) and an extensive wardrobe that could probably have been a plane ticket instead, had I been thinking about the future at all. A career is all well and good, but I'm only 23, I have a job where I basically can't take days off except for when the entire shop is closed, I work my ass off (literally, I've lost 22 pounds this year just from the physical labor of baking), I can't just impulsively take off for a road trip or even take a 3 day weekend and any holiday usually means that I'm working extended hours not getting vacation time. I'm starting to think that at this rate I'm going to have a lot of regrets about the things I didn't do by the time I'm 30.
To be honest, I'm pretty frakin' proud of myself. I haven't lived at home for five years, I've never asked my grandparents for money (they pay my car insurance and cell phone bill and I'll occasionally accept money if offered but more often than not I turn it down), I payed my own way through culinary school, I work at a locally owned, slow food bakery for a female pastry chef in a male dominated business and, fuck, I am DAMN GOOD at what I do. Taking the offered cabin in the woods always seemed like admitting defeat.
But once you hit the rock bottom of getting in an argument with your recovering alcoholic mother at family dinner, which you cope with by drinking way too much and spend what seems like eternity vomiting and being hysterical in front of the person that you want to be as madly in love with you as you are with them, admitting that maybe you need to spend some time at home, regrouping and licking your wounds, doesn't quite seem so humiliating.
I think I'm going to talk to my grandmother about it this weekend, start thinking about my timeline for this plan, look for jobs that require a little less commitment and start working on budgeting so that I can go back to my former jet setting ways. I might not be quite so happy about my living situation or my job but if I can actually get the hell out of Dodge as often as I want to, I think that'll be enough for now.
"I like too many things and get all confused and hung-uprunning from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion."