Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, every year we are afforded the opportunity to annually enjoy the holiday season.
It’s a time when college students can let out that big sigh of relief they were holding in from the hellish fury of finals week.
It’s a time when the 9-to-5-ers, if graced with days off, can escape the endless meetings, grueling Mondays and annoying coworkers. It’s a time when parents can be parents again, and daughters and sons can feel like kids again.
As we get older, however, we realize home isn’t quite the same. We enjoy ourselves, as well as the time we spend with family, but leaving becomes easier as we start to realize that home lacks a certain charm it once had when we were younger.
As we get older, we see that home is great, but is best seen as a getaway. Here are four reasons why:
1. Nagging Parents
Isn’t it funny how our parents stay the same? It seems like no matter how old we get, what we accomplish and who we become, they will always remind us who the boss is.
Of course, it’s why we love them and why they’re great, but as we mature into adults, the transformation is sometimes hard for our parents to see. When we reach a certain age, we need relationship meddling and involvement to become relationship advice.
At a certain point, telling us what to do should become more of giving us advice on what to do, and respecting if we take the advice or not.
As adults, we still respect our parents, but we need them to be more of advisers rather than instructors, which is a process that can be hard for them.
I always know my stay for the holidays has been fulfilled when when my parents start asking me what time I will be home and reprimanding me for sleeping in on Sunday mornings.
They can’t help but be parents, but demands such as taking out the trash are so much easier when it’s your own trash and you can take it out whenever you want. Not to mention, having company is, well, hard at your parents’ crib.
I love my parents, but being home makes me grateful for the life I have away from their place.
2. The Joy Of Being An Adult
To say something is truly and unequivocally yours is a beautiful thing. Your car, your living room, your stove and kitchen are always superior to anyone else’s.
When you are home, it tends to feel like things that were once yours aren’t anymore, and even if they do feel like yours, you find yourself no longer wanting these things. When your room becomes an office, you know your stay has to be a visit and nothing more.
The same goes for appliances; you’ll find yourself looking for the Xbox that usually sits in your living room or asking your mom if she has Netflix installed somewhere. It’s just not the same as your own place.
Being an adult comes with taxing responsibilities that are more than grueling at times. But, in turn, these responsibilities come with the rewards of owning your own property and providing for yourself.
There is a point in life where handouts become embarrassing and even borderline insulting. There is this innate feeling that you must prove yourself, not only to yourself, but to your parents to show them they did a good job raising you.
Sometimes, when we’re home for the holidays, we see the lives our parents have made and how well they’ve made it, and it makes us anxious to go out and make one of our own.
Being home then becomes a great getaway for a couple of days in the last month of the year, and then, it’s back to the grind.
3. Friends Change
Like many things, friends change. The people we knew before going off to college and starting lives of our own inevitably become different people. And, because of this, coming home has a completely different meaning.
There will be a time when going back to where you were born will only mean seeing one or two people outside of your family.
When the places you went to high school, prom and worked your first job suddenly become barren wastelands where you don’t recognize anything or anybody, it’s hard to envision that place you used to know.
As we get older and begin to live our lives, we get engrossed in what’s relevant. The jobs, school work and activities we must focus on to maintain a life become priorities that, unless mutual effort on both parties is made, will unfortunately erase people out of your life completely.
When you find that the core group of your friends has shifted from your hometown to your college friends, and from your college friends to your work friends, you truly have outgrown the place that was once your home.
A good friend of mine always says, “When people get busy, relationships get sticky,” and I find that statement to be true.
4. We Changed
Ultimately, home is not home anymore because we’ve become different people.
As young adults, we’ve come to realize our own truths and how to find things out our own way. This may make us completely different people compared to who we were the last time we visited home.
The experiences we face while away not only opened our eyes to a new world, but let us unpack, set up shop and get cozy in this new world, as well. The jobs we have and the people we have met all play a part in making us realize how much the definition of home has changed.
What was once a place we ran to for refuge is now a time capsule; you can still feel at home, but it’s more of a reminder of where you come from than a place in which to settle.
A trip down memory lane brings perspective, and the second helpings of mama’s cooking serve as a nice change to the steady pizza diet we have been maintaining during the duration of our time away.
But, almost as consistent as the changing leaves and December cold, the stay at mom and dad’s during the holidays never fails to run its course. We will always feel a call back to the madness of our lives: the madness of never-ending phone calls, deadlines and rent.
It’s the madness of staying out way later than we were suppose to, but making it to the 7 am meeting the next day. It’s managing your money like a boss in order to catch your favorite band coming into town with your friends.
This madness has not only become your life, but more importantly, a life you created.