It’s kind of weird being Home

Like, good weird—but weird.

I’m resolved not to complain that there aren’t enough pillows on my bed for me to sleep comfortably. Or that the outlet by my bed is too far away for me to plug my phone in and watch netflix at the same time. Or that it’s really freaking cold in here. What’s that going to do but make my parents feel bad?

I’ve gotten used to the rhythms and noises of the house I share with my roommates and their one-year-old. (I refuse to be the kind of person who mentions my fourteen-month-old nephew or my thirteen-month-old niece. That, should they feel so moved, is definitely a parent thing.) There’s always a huge buzz of activity early in the morning while Nephew is up and figuring out how spoons work during breakfast—it’s actually pretty hilarious when you’re not the one who has to clean up after the fact.

It’s 11:40 and my parents’ house is dead quiet; my mother is at work, but since my dad and brother are still here somebody should have cracked a door open by now, right? This coming from the person who lolled around til almost 10:00 and only really got up because my stomach very loudly pointed out that I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet. But it turns out my parents only have dairy milk, so getting up and dressed was ultimately pointless. Plus they’ve rearranged the kitchen several times, so I don’t know where the spoons are and all the potential drawers are super noisy. (One does not make too much noise at Home—even typing on my laptop’s probably too much—and risk waking the grumbly grumpy dad who’s tired from manual labor that he really shouldn’t be doing in the first place.)

I think it’s finally hitting me that while I’ll always be welcome here, it’s not really My Place any more. It’s a little bittersweet.

Also I had to kill a really big spider this morning. Because no one else was up to tell me if it was a dangerous kind and fuck if I was looking away from that thing long enough to google.

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Homebodies-R-Us

I think I have a small problem, y’all. (And I should probably apologize ahead of time for what feels like an epic whine brewing.)

I’m pretty sure I’m one rage-fest-fueled job resignation away from being a shut-in.

Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I don't.
Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I don’t.

I don’t go out—at all—except for work and for those necessities I can’t get online. Mostly only because nobody really lets you order groceries online in Greensboro without charging an arm, a leg, and your first born for it. It’s not like I’m afraid to go out or in any way think I have a serious condition preventing me from spending my free time away from my apartment. I just…don’t. My free time is MY TIME. It’s my time to recharge, to putter around the internet for hours, or watch movies, or text my friends and siblings incessantly, all while going a full forty-eight glorious hours without saying a single word aloud.

That’s all well and good, except my anxiety cranked up to oh-my-god-is-it-a-real-heart-attack-this-time levels a couple days ago and I realized that it’d be at least a week before anyone noticed I’m dead. That has to be the one downside to living on my own at least six hours away from anyone I know well enough to maintain regular contact with, and half a continent (-ish) away from my family. (My tumblr mutuals might notice once my queue runs out, but that’s stocked up for at least a week. Plus none of them have my number or anything.) Plus plus, I’m actually getting lonely more often.

I might have to make getting out more a mission. Except I’ve tried that before I don’t know how many times, and it never catches on because leaving my apartment and interacting with people cuts into MY TIME. (Going to mass means getting up at a decent hour on Sunday morning, or carving time out of Saturday evening. Reading at Starbucks or the Green Bean or Geeksboro requires money. Bars are full of creepers and require money—and they’re not well suited to someone as soft-spoken as I am.) Notice the trend here? Even I’m getting sick of my own bullshit and want a change.

It totally doesn’t help that, according to Scott Koch’s article on cio.com, change can actually hurt. MY TIME has gotten to be such a routine that my poor brain doesn’t know how to process not spending hours every Saturday digging around Wikipedia or Tumblr. It’s comforting even as it’s isolating. Koch notes, however, that “[o]nce people have had that initial insight or epiphany that change is necessary, they need to repeat the experience in order to reinforce it and to experience the potential pleasure that can be derived from it.” Guess who might just have to rip off the bandaid and spend time out of the house. This moi.

I did see an interesting take on this while skimming the first few chapters of Michelle Phillips’ Happiness is a Habit (excerpted here): actually getting out and being with others isn’t deprivation, it’s growth. It’s not necessarily taking away from MY TIME, it’s giving me time to make a friend, or go on a date, or whatever takes my fancy.

Still, falling on my habit-forming face multiple times in the past has me leery.

I need an interaction accountability buddy, stat.

Rawr.

Roommates

This year I’ll have to live in a dorm, because my loan payments and pitiful wages didn’t allow me to save a whole lot of money. I’ll have two roommates to deal with, though the room is much bigger than the closets that UNCG offers two people. However big the rooms are, I’m not so sure about these two girls. I’m sure they’re both pleasant people who’ll be a joy to live with, but at the same time, they’ve got a pretty high standard to meet.

I’ll probably unconsciously—or not, since I’m aware enough to blog about it—judge Kristen and Lacee by Courtney’s super-awesome stint as my undergrad roommate. We had enough similar interests to mesh, and we’re both geeks, but different sub-species geeks. Once we were feeling philosophical enough to attempt to find a medium for expressing how we meshed. We settled on a venn diagram; there are the separate parts that represent her sci-fi and my history, her folk music and my classical, and the mixed parts that enabled us to room together for four years (we even had the same room in the same suite for three of those years. God bless housing holdovers).  We’ve even got the comfortable silence thing down pat; part of what’s sucked about being apart for a year. Now we feel like we have to entertain each other every time I visit. We both feel better—and more normal—now that we’re both on our laptops and she’s talking to her boyfriend on the phone.

I can only hope I’ll have something approaching this comfortable silence with Kristen and Lacee. Maybe we’ll be able to have deep discussion, or have an awesome MLIA moment where we all watch “Harry Potter” movies in backwards black snuggies. Or just do nothing. Nothing is good, sometimes.

Update:

I’ve gotten moved around and have three entirely new roommates, but they seem like they’ll be pretty cool girls. Plus, it’s apartment style, which means a kitchen and a closet and everything. Excitement!