Nothing beats the holidays. It’s usually the one time of the year that I get to be with my family for an extended amount of time. Traveling back and forth during any other time of the year is a bit more difficult, what with everyone’s work schedules, and considering the distance and cost of travel. And while a member of my family often asks about my love life or lack thereof during the holidays, a.k.a., engagement season (I wrote about it here), there’s another question that inevitably pops up: “When are you moving back home?”
It’s a valid question, but one I’m on the fence about. I have been living away from home since I graduated from high school. (I refuse to reveal how long ago that was – just know that it’s been a minute). My plan when I initially moved for college was always to be bicoastal. Hasn’t quite happened yet. But what has happened is a better understanding of the nature of the business I’ve chosen to pursue. Steady, well-paying gigs can be tough to come by in film and television, and more often than not, writers like myself need to make ends meet by working non-related jobs to pay the bills. That’s just the reality. But sometimes, writers, tired of scraping to get by, of not getting that big break, give up on their dreams altogether. That’s what I fear will happen should I choose to move back to my hometown. Fear can be a great motivator, but it can also be an impediment to your goals and dreams.
Not that my push, my drive, my personal determination or the strides I’ve made will just up and disappear the second I leave the city I’ve called home for a while now. It’s just that leaving before I’ve tasted the experience I still long for and that I’ve worked so hard to attain – something about that screams “quitter” to me. Plus, I’ve known of or have heard enough stories about people who decided to move back to their respective hometowns to save money, to take a break or recoup, saying every step of the way that they’d one day return (sooner than later, of course), only to never step foot in the city again. And that’s because life happens. Sometimes we’re pulled in a different direction, despite what we think we know and want. We have to adapt, dream new dreams. But I want to keep my eyes on the prize. I can’t do what I want to do from just anywhere.
But I would like a change of scenery, a chance to spend time with my adorable, fast-growing nephews. To aid my parents and try to give back to them what they’ve given to me. They’re entering a period of their lives that I want to be a part of and the physical distance between us limits my ability to help them in certain ways. But they’re not the ones whispering in my ear about returning home. Well, at least, my dad isn’t. They’re both very supportive, but my mom definitely encourages me to look for jobs in their neck of the woods. And my nephews consistently asking about the next time they will be able to see me definitely pulls at my heart strings.
Plus, I’m single. I don’t have anyone else’s needs but my own to consider right now. Nor do I have a mortgage to pay. All of those trappings, for lack of a better word, aren’t holding me back. If ever there were a “right” time to move back home, now would be it. Nothing, except for my very big dreams, is keeping me tethered to the current space I’m in.
And yet…I haven’t budged. Having a dream, one that I’m actively working towards, is motivational. It’s purposeful, meaningful, life-affirming. If I throw in the towel, take a break or hiatus from pursuing my passion, it could set me on a course with a path I know I don’t want to see. I can’t give up now. I’ve come too far. Tempting though it may be, I think moving back home will have to wait.