So, I have been rather critical of my current visit with my family. I came home to Stillwater, Oklahoma after having spent the past year in Alaska. I am only here for 2 weeks and had very specific expectations of what this trip would be. Firstly, there would be exuberance and rejoicing over my return. Celebration and merriment would follow and I would enjoy many days of relaxing conversation with my parents at their new home outside of town.
That did not happen. The lack of interest in me once I arrived made me feel severely unneeded. Perhaps it is a blessing to know this. It doesn’t make knowing it any easier to know that my family can exist happily without me. It hurts a little. And this growing pain was something that needed to occur. I realize that I was never going to grow if I considered myself just one of my parents’ children instead of viewing myself as an independant individual, capable of being my own person.
I am capable.
I have only been gone for a year, but is seems like so much longer. Things I never took notice of before, suddenly stick out like bits of bone in the most delicious piece of fish I’ve ever eaten. I want to love it so much, but it just isn’t quite right. Conversely, things I took for granted seem like little blessings that only I seem to be aware of — the price of groceries, the proximity of family, dirt roads — and nobody else is taking notice. I miss this place, but I am happy to not be here at the same time.
My parents have changed. My brothers have changed. And there are small children, ready to take any attention left from whomever is around. It is a chaotic place, full of love and life, but completely unwelcoming to me. Because I wish it was the way it used to be.
Not In Alaska:
I have been enjoying the small pleasures I cannot get in Alaska. Trips: Sonic X2, Whataburger, Wal-Mart Supercenter X2, Wall’s, Bath & Bodyworks. I plan to go to a thrift store & Wall’s today and this weekend I will be going to Target, Bangkok, & hopefully Tuesday Morning and/or Hobby Lobby.
Let me make things more clear. I really do love my family. They are the best family I could hope for. They are the most generous, most caring, & most interesting people I know. I was simply disappointed in the state of things in regards to the way I was treated on my returning after a year.
Images: Oklahoma A&M logo; illustration of seated woman (McGill Library via Unsplash)
Featured Image Art: township map of Payne County, OK