It feels so strange to be back.
Back home. Back in Boston. Back in my apartment. (But not back in my room, which is still being inhabited by the current sublet)
I’m sitting in my favorite chair in our living room, just watching cars drive up the street, trying to adjust to the humidity and temperature of Boston. Everything feels so familiar of course, but it is as if I don’t remember how I got here. Over the past two weeks, I left my apartment in Dublin to travel to a few different places, never staying any where long enough to feel comfortable again. I missed my pretend room in Dublin, the place I had some how made into my home for two months, yet I knew I should be looking forward to returning to my real apartment and my real home in Boston. And now that I’m here again, Ireland is fading into a strange dream I made up. It could have been something I made up, except for the fact that I have a lot less money than I did three months ago and tons and tons of laundry to do.
I am back in my real world, yet even here I can’t seamlessly return to normal. Our apartment seems the same, but also too crowded. My roommates are the same, except for their new jobs or new haircuts. There is someone sleeping in my bed, using my room, a room that doesn’t look familiar to me anymore. I have no right to it, nor to anything in the apartment for the next ten days. I have no food to grab from the fridge or snacks to munch on while I try to figure out my next moves.
I feel out of place in the apartment that I help to decorate and fill with my things. Little things have changed and I didn’t receive the memos. I don’t know whose bag of chips are whose or if I’m allowed to complain about the stupid toilet paper being used in the bathroom. (I guess I just did).
I was out of place in Ireland and now I’m out of place at home.
I took a leave of absence from my restaurant job to go to Ireland, thinking that it would be smarter to have somewhere to go back to, rather than quitting all the way. Even though that is what I should’ve done. I worked at the restaurant for over a year and it had sucked me in so much that despite any ambitions I had for other career paths, I couldn’t seem to tear away from it. Though I did love working at the restaurant, I needed a push to get out and my internship in Ireland was my chance to break free. After the first few weeks at my internship, I decided that I couldn’t go back to working at the restaurant. That I would have to find something different, something closer to what I wanted to do. Even if I have no idea what that something is.
Now that I am back sitting in the humidity of Boston air, I can feel myself weakening. All my strong motivations to find the perfect job are being dried out of me. I know I need to tell the restaurant that I can’t come back, but I don’t yet have another job to use as my reasoning. I also don’t have much money to keep me firmly against returning to the restaurant. My problem is I want to find the perfect job now. I am afraid of finding just any other job, because then maybe I should’ve have just stayed with my current restaurant one.
I miss the energy and motivation that the restaurant forced me to give. I miss feeling like part of a team and working with people who might have also been stuck in limbo, but they were doing their best within the situation.
Yet working in Ireland gave me the option of doing something different. Of having a job that doesn’t involve standing on my feet for hours on end, only be tipped out 20$. It showed me that I could possibly be paid to use the skills I learned in school that I am confident about, rather than the ones I was taught in two weeks of training from my restaurant handbook.
I don’t know what this job is or where to find it. I’m back home with actual job experience and this is my chance to change things for myself. I am not ready to hit the ground running, but I can already feel myself sinking, so I guess I have to.
Is it possible to hit the ground jogging? Or at a brisk walk? Can I do that instead?