Since last Christmas, I’ve calculated having only spent 5 nights in my bedroom…in my parents’ house. The bedroom that I claimed as a 4-year old and lived in until moving to Columbus 3.5 years ago. The bedroom that my parents still referred to as “your room”. (I know, they miss me.)
So saying I was anxious about returning to Pittsburgh for the holidays is most definitely an understatement. With a 3 am wake-up call to make a 6:55 am flight, I mustered up all my sanity and excitement in enduring the chaos that was Midway Airport yesterday. Before I knew it, since I had passed out immediately after taking off, we were on the airport runway in Pittsburgh, and ten minutes later I was hugging my mom- whom I hadn’t seen since our late August vacation. Being with her felt so good. It felt really good to be home.
After breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we headed to the city to visit Grandma. As we sat upstairs in my grandma’s bedroom, looking through all of her jewelery, I remembered sitting in that room many years ago (at least 15 years) interviewing Pap about being a Navy veteran for a class project. It was there that nostalgia set in. Again, it felt really good to be home.
One day, most likely under the influence of a tired state of mind, I concocted a thought, or rather proposed a question to ponder: Am I being selfish by desiring to live far, far away from my family? Am I being a bad daughter; a bad sister; a bad granddaughter by living far, far away? Any thoughts? Shared experiences?
About 6 weeks ago I considered applying for a position at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle, which elicited some push-back from my parents, “We never see you now, and we can’t imagine seeing you any less if you moved all the way across the country.” At first I found myself bitter with disappointment: How can they not understand that this is what I want to do with my life? This is what makes me happy…don’t they want me to finally be happy? But with honest communication, initiated by me, concerns were shared and an understanding was made. (Note: I chose not to apply for the job in Seattle.)
So here I am, spending the next 10 days in the company of my family…with a few days in Ohio to visit friends in the mix… and I realize how much I miss my family. But I also know that, while these last two days have been wonderful, Pittsburgh is not the city for me (anymore). Sure, it’s been nice running into people at Panera and Giant Eagle (which this Pittsburgh girl pronounces “iggle”…deal with it.) and having dates with my family; however, I cannot ignore the little voice that says, This is how it’s always going to be. You’re always going to pack up and leave ‘home’ again. Your parents are always going to live here and you’re always going to live anywhere but here. This is your life, Kristen Medica. This is how it’s always going to be.
Even at the age of 27 and being very much fulfilled (and busy) with life right now, I’ll still admit that I find myself homesick from time to time. Everytime I’m sick, I wish my mom was there to make me tea & toast. And when I feel like chillin’ out on a weekend night, I miss my dad and his tipsy talks even more. And with Nicky, I always want him to be around for a movie date or a drive (walk) around town.
But even though I know this holiday break is going to eventually end, I’m going to let myself enjoy the company I’m fortunate to have. Luckily, I know the feeling is mutual…
“It’s really nice to have you home, Kristen,” my dad told me last night before heading upstairs to go to bed.
“It’s nice to be home, Dad.”