Leaving Your Home

I’ve lived in New Jersey basically my whole life. I was born in another state, lived in another, but that was all before memories really started to form. I grew up in New Jersey, went to college in New Jersey, and built my life here.

And while I love everything about this extremely underrated state, I never wanted to stay here forever. First I wanted to go to college in Canada, then maybe Ireland, then I wanted to move south as quick as I could. But I never did. I stayed. Until now.

Now I’m leaving my home and I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet that everything I know will be a 6 hour drive away when I move to New Hampshire. All of my friends, most of my family, my coworkers, and familiarity will be so far gone. It’s nerve-wracking.

But I’m ready to leave it behind. My adult life has become so busy anyway that I think some distance between me and all of those things will actually make the bond stronger. If the bond becomes weaker, maybe it wasn’t meant to be in the first place.

I think it’s so important to start over somewhere new, to live in new places, to meet new people. Those experiences help shape you into a well-rounded person – it’s part of the reason I travel as much as I can. It makes me a better person. And even though I’m terrible at new things and meeting new people, I at least have to try.

It’s so sad to leave your home, but there is a whole world out there to explore and we owe it to ourselves to experience it.

woman sitting on chair beside brown table
Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

Finding A Home In People

When I was in college, my parents sold and moved out of my childhood home. At this point, I had been living at school most of the time, over every break. I came home one weekend and packed my stuff and said goodbye.

My childhood home hadn’t been my home for a long time. My room had been repainted and the whole place just held a lot of memories from my youth that I didn’t particularly enjoy especially after my high school boyfriend and I had just broken up. I was fine with leaving it all behind and I had found a new home at college.

And when my grandparents passed away, their house was torn down. I did one last walk through – but I wasn’t sad about saying goodbye to it. My grandparents weren’t there anymore and the last years they were there were painful and nothing at all like the memories I had created as a kid.

I walk into my other grandparent’s home and I still feel my home. I take deep breaths and try to hold on to the feeling there. But after they’re gone, I don’t think it will feel like anything at all.

Because I’ve always made homes out of people. My family grew out of our childhood home, we were located hours and plane rides away from each other and it wasn’t the home that kept us all together anymore. I feel at home with them, no matter where I am. And even at college, I tried to live in my house after everyone had left for summer and graduated – but the people were my home, not that house.

When I move out of a place (and I have moved out of quite  a few places for a 25 year old), I stare at the empty rooms and I feel sad. But as soon as I am together with my people in my next new adventure, I don’t really feel a nostalgia or need to be back in that old place.

I have no attachment to where I am because no matter where I go I can visit one of those important people and feel at home again.

apartment cabinet chair contemporary
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Recap Of The Places I’ve Lived In My Twenties

I think I am the exception to most people my age, but since graduating college I will have lived in 5 different places. I graduated at 22 and am now 24 to put things in context for you. That’s 5 places in 2 and a half years and you can bet they were all life lessons.

When I graduated from college, I convinced my parents to let me stay at the house I’d been living in the past two years of college because I got an internship sort of nearby. College campuses in the summer are a whole new type of weird I can’t even explain and they are also very empty. I spent a lot of time living between different houses and traveling a long ways to work. When the internship ended, I moved home and got a job there.

Living at home is definitely something I know a lot of people can relate to. It’s like you automatically revert back  to your 16 year old self when living with your parents. My parents had moved out of my childhood home when I was in college, so this was pretty strange for me. I didn’t really have my own room that was truly mine with any space for my stuff. I saved a lot of money, but my job was very basic and my parents were driving me nuts. So 6 months after I moved in, I got a new job and moved out.

I was in a rush and on a deadline, so I moved into a house with 3 other roommates. They were all strangers and they continued to be strangers the 10 months I lived there. I’m not very outgoing and everyone was on different schedules and were different ages. I spent most of the time in my room or tip toeing to the bathroom and kitchen. I really thought it was going to be super temporary, but I stayed there for almost a year until it became just too weird for me.

So, I moved out again. This time into a single apartment with a small kitchenette attached to the living room. I was paying for everything myself so I didn’t buy cable/wifi and I also didn’t have a freezer or oven. I’m coming up on a year at this apartment and it’s kind of amazing that I lived without things that a lot of people consider necessities. While I loved the apartment, it was time to take a next step and move in with my boyfriend.

In a few weeks we’ll be moving into a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with a loft that I’m obsessed with. After this, I really hope to stay put for a while because anyone who has moved a lot knows that moving in and out is not fun. At all.

hc
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hmoong/

My 8 Favorite Places In New Jersey

I’ve lived in New Jersey for basically my whole life. I really really hated it at one point, then learned to love its beauty. Yes, it really is beautiful for those who call it the armpit of America! Here are 8 places I love in New Jersey that you should visit if you ever get the opportunity to stop in!

  1. Grounds for Sculpture
    A large garden filled with sculptures, art, and surprises around every corner. The collections are constantly evolving. You can see me at it here.
  2. Schooley’s Mountain
    I’m not great at hiking, so a small park where I can still see waterfalls is great for me! I’ve been visiting Schooley’s Mountain since I was in high school.
  3. Jenny Jump
    I haven’t been to Jenny Jump in a while, but from the top of this little mountain you can see a lot of New Jersey. It’s very peaceful.
  4. Sea Isle City
    Everyone in New Jersey has their preferred shore town, mine is Sea Isle City. You ca catch me here most summers.
  5. Collingswood
    I’m weirdly obsessed with South Jersey and Collingswood epitomizes that for me. Check out the Pop Shop if you ever want some reallyyy good food.
  6. Asbury Park
    Asbury Park is like magical to me. I didn’t even discover it until this year, but the murals and the boardwalk are just so special and artsy.
  7. Rowan University
    This is where I went to college! Rowan is a home for me.
  8. Viaducts
    So, it’s illegal to go here and I dropped a picture of it below. The viaducts are a Weird NJ spot, it is tunnels and tunnels of graffiti and it’s amazing!

Have you ever been to New Jersey? Would love to hear your thoughts and favorite places in the comments 🙂

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Getting The Credit You Deserve

We, as humans, need gratification. We need to be told we are doing things well, it inspires us to do better. Whereas constant negative criticism, though it makes us want to fix our mistakes, often makes us do worse.

But we just don’t always get the credit that we think we deserve.

Whether it be at home, in your relationship, at work – we aren’t recognized as often as we’d like to be and this can put us in a weird place. Because as much as we’d like to think we’re independent and can do things on our own, the motivation of others is what really pushes us in the end.

So when your boyfriend takes care of you all week when you’re sick, tell him how much you appreciate him. Little words go a long way.

And when your boss isn’t giving you the praise you need, maybe you need to adjust the way you are working. Make it so that you cannot be ignored. I have always believed that there is nothing wrong with tooting your own horn, especially if other people neglect to do it for you.

We don’t always get the credit we deserve and it can be disheartening. All you can do is recognize what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. And strive to be the best person you can be. Relying on other people will never turn out the way you want it to. When they fail you, know that you can rely on yourself.

hc
photo by:https://www.flickr.com/photos/31403417@N00/

Does Moving Home Mean Moving Backwards?

High school was rough for me.  I rebelled against almost everything my parents wanted.  I didn’t get the grades they liked, didn’t join any clubs or sports, had the wrong friends, and did not one thing right.  I resented being controlled and watched over all the time – it ate away at me and made me a very bitter human.

The freedom of college was unbelievably sweet to me.  I learned things about myself that I feel were suppressed when I was stuck living under the law of my parents. I grew into an adult that could take care of herself. I got good grades, all on my own.  I joined so many clubs and took so many initiatives to make amazing friends.  I became better acquainted with my family.  I overall knew who I was and liked that person.

Then I graduated and then I moved back home. At first, I didn’t think anything would be that different from being at school.  I had become sort of a grandma towards the end of my senior year so I wasn’t going to miss drinking four days a week minimum.  I also wasn’t going to miss spending so much money on food and unnecessary things.

When I first got home, my normal life continued.  I spent the weekends with my friends and spent my days unpacking and running errands.  But that all slowed down and since I don’t have any friends from high school – I got bored.

And when I got bored I got nagged about getting all of my unpacking done, or about why I didn’t clean up the kitchen, or about when I was going to get a job. All things I would’ve done at my own stress-free pace at school, but impossible at home.  Then I got sick and the difference between being sick at home and at school blew my mind. I’ve gone to the doctor’s at least 4 times, whereas at school I was lucky if I made it to the Minute Clinic at all. My mom cooked all my meals, washed all my clothes, and doted on me as I wallowed on the couch for days at a time.  At school – if I was awake long enough I would text my friends to get me a gatorade and still make it to the bar that night even when running a fever.

My dog is the only one who hangs out with me.  My parents annoy me with every word they say to me.  I’m alone a lot, but can’t seem to get enough alone time. I resent being controlled and watched over all the time – it’s eating away at me and making me a very bitter human, once again.  Will all the progress I’ve gained in college slowly disappear with each month I’m living at my parent’s house?

Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/skohlmann/