I found myself standing on sticky faux-wood floors, in Eeyore pajamas, desperately scrubbing the sour smell of last night’s dinner off a cooking sheet, grappling for order in my life and I thought, “What the hell am I doing?”
Since returning from my adventures in Australia on the first of July, I had a whirlwind of places to go, people to see, and vegging to catch up on. Now, going into my second month back in the U.S., I realize my sense of home feels more like a crumpled paper in my pocket rather than the pristine certificate I wanted.
I really cannot complain as I still have a bed, comfortable quarters, a part-time job within my industry, and my mom’s dinners to look forward to. However, as much as I want to fit into this new puzzle, I feel more lost back in the area I am familiar with than the place I explored for five months.
Part of this is easily seen as my parents sold their house while I was gone and I have been bouncing between bedrooms of a new apartment, trying to keep my pile of clothes somewhat together. Another part is trying to mesh back into someone else’s household after holding the reigns. I wouldn’t put the pots and pans in the bottom left cupboard, but it isn’t my name on the apartment’s rent.
The biggest indicator to me is my toothbrush. I am thankful to still have one and a space to hang my toiletry bag, but the yellow handled toothbrush is homeless–shifting from one counter to another, resting in its gunky travel case, or spending a few days of luxury in a proper holder.
My thought as I was washing the dishes wasn’t directed at my current status or my domestic habits, but rather my need for them. I crave to have a place to organize, to vacuum when I decide or lay waste to when I am feeling lazy. As much of a nomad as I consider myself to be, my heart feels separated from my geography. I can make do with cold showers, flat pillows, living out of a suitcase–because I am in the midst of traveling. But here, I am in a sort of limbo where I have locked away my passport, yet am not holding the cherished independence of owning or renting a space of land.
I have always believed that home is where the heart is and my loved ones have been more of a home than any house. Yet my fiance is gone as he prepares to start his last semester of school and my sister is about to embark on her first year of college. I am grateful to have parents who still give me a bed in their household, but it’s hard to smile everyday when I think of the expectations I had and my urges to shape the floor plan into my own.
In the end, I wish I could say I found my way out of limbo and I looked the unknown in the face and laughed as I created the path I wanted. However, right now, all I am able to do is throw pieces of my soul into the wind and hope they catch light to guide my next steps. Right now, all I can control is a dirty pile of dishes.