Some people might be surprised to find out that I didn't move out till the beginning of this year, at 22 years old. For the first three years after graduating high school, I went to my local community college, so there was no need to move out at the time. Once I was accepted into my university, I knew it was finally time to leave the nest. I consider myself to be a nostalgic person, so visiting home for the first time was hard on me emotionally.
I've always had a close relationship with my parents. I didn't necessarily tell them everything, but I never went out of my way to hide anything. I knew that if I ever needed them, they would be there for me. Whether they knew it or not, I've always appreciated them. I always grew up having at least one pet in the house, and by the time I moved out, there were 3. I loved each and every one of them with my whole heart, and it was hard to leave them behind as well. One of our cats, I took care of (taking her to the vet, paying for everything, feeding her, etc.) and I thought about taking her with me when I moved out but figured it would be too stressful for her to travel back and forth when I would go home on a break. I felt bad about leaving her behind, but I knew it was for the best.
Once I got home, it felt different. My cats didn't recognize me at first, and it took them a while to warm back up to me. In fact, they ran away and hid when I first came in. Unpacking my stuff felt weird because I knew that in a few days I'd have to pack it all back up and leave again. While most of my stuff was still there, a good amount was still in my apartment. I think it was mainly weird because I knew I was only going to be there for a few days, and only had a few days to spend with everyone. All in all, I felt like a visitor in my own house.
The time I spent with family and friends was more meaningful to me, not only because I hadn't seen them in a while, but because my time with them was limited, and I wouldn't be visiting again for a while. My friends and I watched Netflix and exchanged gossip about what was going on there, and I filled them in on what I've been up to. I visited my old job and caught up with them. I spent most of my time hanging out with my family watching movies, going out to dinner, and just hanging out at the house.
I didn't expect to feel all of that from just a short trip. I text and call my parents regularly, and they even send me pictures of our pets frequently. I also text my friends every day and I know I can still go to them for anything, which I do. I'm sure with time, visiting for short periods of time will become easier.
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