New Year, New Challenges (Same Issues)

A month ago, I was living in Asia. I had a job that I loved, friends and coworkers who inspired me, and a home that always provided something new to learn. (Also, I had an income.)

That's not to say life was fun or easy or glamorous. My job was by turns overwhelming and boring, though it never lacked purpose. New people aren't always what you want, especially when you're living somewhere new. 

Always learning something about your context is just as exhausting as it is exhilarating. But these are the kinds of challenges I love. I enjoy learning by slamming all the dullness of my comfort and confidence into a whole new setting. I took an internship in Asia because I expected, wanted, a challenge made of novelty.

But now, I'm home. And not like 'back in Texas looking but doing something new' home. Nope. I have followed that grand millennial joke and moved back home with my parents. 

There are some true positives about this! I missed my family so much over the 13 months I was away, and it's been good to reconnect with them. Not paying rent is inherently cheaper, which is important to me at the moment... And I'm definitely not alone! I was really surprised by how many of my friends, even the ones with steady incomes, are living at home right now. It's feeling pretty 'all in this together' around Dallas right now. 

But it's also not easy. It looks like I'll be here for the next few months, and honestly that thought makes me want to run again as soon as possible. 

It's hard not to let going home feel like taking steps backward. Living in the same room, seeing the same people, it's enough to make a girl forget the 5+ years that have passed since the last time she was the person who lived in this room. So the challenge this year is not learning new languages or cultures but figuring out how the current me fits into the old ways of speaking and living. 

Reconciling those years of growth and change with an all too familiar setting is frustrating. Working as a barista instead of in the comms department of an anti-sex trafficking organization could feel reductive if I let it. The next few months could fly by in a haze of passivity, where I wait on my family and their schedule like I did in high school.

These things could be anxiety inducing, if they weren't so damn normal. There's definitely an element of unresolved issues here. Home can feel full of things that I got over or ran away from, which means that it's probably, definitely time to confront them. So that's an annoying opportunity isn't it?

So here's to new things in old places and so much more time to read and write.