Home Life

20 Dec

So I’m beginning to realize some things about my family and my life in Tennessee that I never really considered before. My roommate, Mari, has two sisters that she’s really close to, and her parents are lots of fun to be around. My friend Laurann has a big, loud Italian family that fits every stereotype from the Godfather. Lindsay has her sister Katie. Melody has Grace. What do I have?

I have a dad that works and comes home to watch TV or go to high school sports games.

I have a mom that teaches all day long, goes to the gym, judges me for not doing the same, and falls asleep by 8:30 every night.

I have a grandmother that is the epitome of the 1950s housewife, that doesn’t really understand me at all.

And I have a brother that I’ve fought with my entire life but that I’m just starting to be close to.

This all amounts to a lot of isolation in my house. I’m the only person in my family that doesn’t have a TV in their room. Everyone pretty much does their own thing, and dinner conversations are awkward and don’t really last long. My brother still has friends here that he does stuff with. I only have two friends that I still see when I’m home, leaving a lot of extra free time to fill, which is hard to do without going somewhere to spend money I don’t have. My family is quiet and private and very much not like me. They don’t go out much and they don’t interact a lot, except (mostly my grandmother) to talk about people that I’ve never met or have absolutely no interest in hearing about.

Their new favorite hobby is to grill me on graduate school and what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. Which, as we all know, I have no idea what to do. I know where I would like to be in school and what I want to do as my career, but they want specifics. Like, what kind of population I want to work with, or have I checked out this possible internship or this connection that could benefit me in the future (but really probably has no value at all, considering they don’t fully understand my field).

My friends all have families that they are really close to. I would consider myself close to my mom and my dad for different reasons, but not my family as a whole. Often my brother does something really stupid and arrogant to make my parents mad, which puts everyone in a bad mood. We don’t really hang out, don’t go anywhere, don’t watch movies or TV together. So we don’t really have much to talk about anymore. It’s lonely, and very different from my friends. I don’t dread coming home for breaks, because I do love my family. I dread being bored to death. And I don’t feel the same connections to home that everyone else does. I like having a place to call home, but I don’t feel as obligated to stay here as other people do, and I’m not as attached to my family as my friends are. Really the past few years I’ve been more attached to friends than anything. They’ve been my surrogate family. So now that I’m not hearing much from them, it’s almost like I have no family at all. Maybe I’ve just gotten way more reclusive than I thought. But my life is far more solitary and isolated than ever before.

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