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mid-30s, homesick, and not sure what to do about it

CalicaCalica Registered User regular
I've been living on my own for almost 10 years, and I've never felt like where I live is "home." Home is my parents and the house I grew up in; my apartment is just where I sleep.

I want to move out of my current apartment for several reasons, but I'm having trouble mustering any real enthusiasm for the search because no matter where I end up, it won't be home. A lot of that is plain old loneliness. It's not so much the physical house that I miss - although I do - but having family around. Right now I have people I know and even like, but no one I feel particularly close to other than my parents. I haven't felt truly comfortable around anyone my own age since my last relationship ended five years ago - longer than that, actually, if I'm honest. Partly that's because I've never understood how to intentionally develop closeness. All of my previous relationships, platonic or otherwise, developed organically just from being around the same people a lot, doing nothing in particular, for long enough to trust them, and adult life just doesn't have space for that.

So... where I live now is not home, and I don't like it, but also I can't see much reason to go through the hassle of finding a new place to live when I have no reason to think that'll feel like home either. I'm tired of thinking of my living situation as temporary, but there's nowhere I particularly want to put down roots.

I guess I'm just wondering whether anyone else has felt like this and overcome it, and if so, how.

Jedoc wrote: »
The GOP cares about babies until they're born, soldiers until they're in need of care, and families until they interfere with stockholder dividends.

Posts

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    I got married.
    That worked.

    Just get someone familiar in your apartment somehow, I think.
    Maybe a pet or an online clan for a game instead of a partner?

    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
    zepherinStabbity StyleDoodmannEnc
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    there's nothing wrong with wanting to be close to your family. hell, if your parents would have you, i'd suggest you move back in, even if only for six months or whatever to remind yourself of the value of having your own space

    yes, it's important to be your own social entity. but there are a lot of cultures around the world where family homes span generations, and for good reason - we generally love our families and we generally want to spend a lot of time with the ones we love. you don't need to feel ashamed of that.

    can you bring your family closer to your space? a routine night?

    sC4Q4nq.jpg
    zepherindispatch.oSmrtnikL Ron HowardStabbity StyleAngelHedgieceresDoodmannEncnever dieFuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudfurlionCelloJaysonFourOrca
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited June 12
    I moved away when I was 19. Every year or two I'd go visit my home town and one by one my friends all moved away or enlisted in the military.

    Every time I'd visit, I'd go back to the places I remembered. They were there, same as ever - park bench, bar, game store, arcade. They just weren't the same anymore, I slowly stopped recognizing the people who worked and lived in the city at the places I'd always known. It just started feeling less like it was supposed to until in some ways going those places was actually hurtful. I had some friends who died and going back to a bench we used to eat Taco Bell on after work brought me to tears.

    The only person still left in that city now is my mom. I still go back and visit her but I've been forced to find what actually makes home feel right for me. I'm not social, I'm too old to go partying or clubbing. I don't know how to make friends but none of that really matters because the alternative is just sitting around wishing I could be 19 again. It's really depressing but in my experience you can't ever really go home again after you move away. You can visit where you once lived and love the people who are close to you but it's got nothing to do with the location.

    Find somewhere you want to live, where you want your parents to visit, where you can see something new. I've moved around a lot and I find that I most appreciate learning new simple stupid stuff about a new location - where are the best grocery stores? where's a good movie theater? what delivery food isn't awful? is there public transit that can dump you somewhere to roam around and reliably get you home?

    It's just hard. I'm sorry to ramble but I think it just sort of is that way for everyone.

    I recommend family visit you and you go have fun where you're at before you decide anything drastic. It sounds like a mixture of loneliness and the depression that just sort of happens when you realize you're all grown up.

    Edit

    Everyone I know has been through the, "What happened to us? How'd we end up HERE?" conversation every few years.

    dispatch.o on
    CauldLostNinja
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Calica, it sounds like you are yearning to build your own family, but need to work on your issues with closeness before that is possible. Therapy is appropriate here.

    In the meantime, could you get a cat or dog? A pet greeting you happily when you get home can make you feel more welcome in your own home.

    You could also move into a house-share situation and save money at the same time as having people around. Of course, housemates aren’t always fun people!

    Doodmann
  • KrathoonKrathoon Registered User regular
    Allot of this is about accepting change. I remember looking at my university campus 18 years later and realizing it was no longer the place I went to long ago. The house I used to live in was even gone.

    dispatch.oCelestialBadgerSmrtnik
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Highly recommend therapy. Getting closer to people isn't a science, your mental state, who your surrounding yourself with, how vulnerable your capable of being, all sorts of stuff like that will factor in on what your personal relationships look like. Therapy wont give you the answers, but it'll help you navigate some of that while you figure out where you need or wan to be.

    No shame in wanting to be close to your family, if that's the ultimate answer. I call my family every Sunday, both my mom and my sister. I can gab with my sis for 2hrs sometimes. The tradition was started when we went off for college and has been a thing since then, If we miss each other on sunday, we'll text. Sometimes its been just a thing on top of my social engagements, but other times in my life those calls were a light in the dark. If you have a strong relationship with your folks, keep it nurtured.


    Anecdotal advice:

    Pets can help but are also a lot of work and commitment. Taking on a hassle of a dog/cat can really cause chaos if you aren't prepared for the inconvenient parts of it. You can sometimes get some of the benefits of being around animals and some exposure the ups and downs of it by volunteering with your local SPCA. Volunteering can also open up new social doors, sometimes, and introduce you to new communities, important in the fights against loneliness.

    I also wouldn't suggest a pet if you plan to move around for the time being. Sometimes other living things, like plants, can help too.

    I would assess your environment. Its sorta hippy dippy feeling to point to a messy or under-decorated apartment as being an issue that's 10 years in the running, but it can certainly improve things if that's not something you've invested any time in. I've walked into apartments where they have literally nothing on the walls, and its generally a bit cold and uninviting. People put pictures of their families up for a reason, and it could be a positive step.

    Cleaning can be powerful as well, you dont have to go full marie kondo, but a junk clearing might help you get some space and shed some baggage.


    Even more personal to me:

    I am a life long introvert, and balance my social life with a lot of alone time. Painting and drawing require me to find blocks of time to myself, as well. Even with a partner and a good group of friends, I need to be at home to feel good. Just because I like being less social doesn't mean I dont get lonely though, and it took a while to understand that the feelings aren't mutually exclusive.

    Podcasts help me fill quite times when I need a voice around the apartment but dont want to go out. I listen to calm, science-y ones.

    I did get a cat, and he makes working from home a bit less isolating. I had the time to dedicate to his nonsense.

    I have a large balcony and maintain a garden on it. I sit outside when I talk to my folks, and read out there.

    I've got art and shit all over the walls.

    CelestialBadgerDoodmannL Ron Howard
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    How far are you, and is there a reason you can't move closer?

    I'm married and have kids and I can tell you for 100% solid certain that it's not a good solution to turning "Dancing in the Dark" into "Shambala." I had to find a community, locally, with actual people in it that you can actually look at, before I could make my current home into any kind of home at all, and not just the place that has a bed I can sleep in. Going hiking in the mountains nearby made me want to bother looking at all, because there is nothing like them where I'm from.

    Even pets.. for a lot of people they help, but for me they just didn't. They just became something else I wanted to bring home so we could be near people I love. "Doggy you're so great my mom would love you" only made things worse for me. Is there an animal your family hates? Something you really can't or don't want to take with you to them.

    My point is, find something you genuinely love - a place, a sight, a specific community, a kind of pet, whatever - that you truly love but can't practically or reasonably take with you. The pool at the local Y probably won't cut it, but a local dive might.

    In the end though, in my experience, a real community with people, something that keeps you showing up, is probably the most effective.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Calica
  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    I live about an hour and a half from my parents, so not at all unreasonable distance. My mom sometimes drives down to visit now and again just because she can, which we both enjoy. I don't want to move back home - either to my old hometown or literally back in with them - because, among other reasons, I think it would be way too easy to just stagnate if I did that. Between my old hometown and the city I live in now is mostly rural nothing.

    I have a pet budgie and a bunch of houseplants, and they do help, mostly by pulling me out of my own head. I'm probably going to get a cat after Kaiju dies (morbid thought, but there's literally no way to know how old he is - he could have 5 years or more left in him, or not. c'est la vie).

    (Incidentally, I Do Not Want to have children. I'm not really interested in finding a significant other right now either, which I think is partly down to the antidepressant I'm on - it's effective at treating my depression/anxiety, but it also seems to make me functionally asexual and aromantic. Brains are weird. I would love to have a familial/platonic relationship with one or more other adults, though, and that's always been something I've wanted, romantic component or no.)

    I already see a therapist; I'd be a lot worse off if I didn't.

    My environment is definitely not helping, which is one reason I want/need to move. There's nothing wrong with my apartment, per se; it's just very... apartment-y. Off-white drywall, beige carpet, not a ton of natural light. The landlord allows hanging pictures and such, thankfully.

    A Marie Kondo-style cleaning has been on my to-do list since before Marie Kondo was a thing :razz: I was diagnosed with ADHD less than a year ago, which explains a hell of a lot in retrospect. Currently working with my doctor and therapist to figure out effective treatment of that combined with the depression and anxiety I mentioned.

    Pet tax:
    9hzdd4pyoux9.jpg

    Jedoc wrote: »
    The GOP cares about babies until they're born, soldiers until they're in need of care, and families until they interfere with stockholder dividends.
    tynicFuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudHahnsoo1
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    aaaaaaaa

    It was a post about pets but also a bowl full of horrible worms because your budgie blends in perfectly with your clothes and I nearly reflex-closed the tab

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    I've been living a 15 hour drive from where I grew up for a decade. For most of that, I still felt like my home town was 'home' and I identified more with it than my current place. I would go back once of twice a year and stay at my parents' house in my old room, go out to eat at the old restaurants, see high school and college friends and cousins, stuff like that. But then my parents sold that house and moved a few hours away. Visiting my family in an unfamiliar place (that was now home to them) kinda made me realize that yeah, where I live now does feel kinda like home. Even going back to my old home town, where I still have friends, doesn't feel right without my old home base to return to.

    A big help for me was finding communities (multiple) to be a part of. For my first 5 years or so I mostly hung out with coworkers who were around my age, but that was pretty unreliable since some of them were locals and had friend groups outside of work. Eventually my wife and joined an adult kickball league, and we can trace almost every adult friend we have back to that in some way. I also got serious into homebrewing beer, so now I also have a good size network of people I know from that. Eventually I moved to a new job, which brought a new network of work friends. Stuff like a tabletop or board game group can work really well too.

    It just helps to be "a person who is known". For somewhere to feel like home, you need to run into people who know you sometimes without trying. You probably have that in your home town by default just from growing up and going to highschool there, but you can have that anywhere if you work on it a little bit.

    DoodmannIrukaCalicaGarick
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    It sounds like you are doing a lot of the things that are good and healthy. Its excellent that you are in therapy and it's awesome that it helps! I'm proud of anyone that champions their own mental health, and I hope you feel pride for doing it.

    Cleaning can be a powerful thing, and it might be something that (if your mom is into this sort of thing) a weekend of hanging out, helping, and getting things together could be cathartic. Also something that is great to do before planning an apartment move, as you'll not have to do it in as much of a hurry. Making it a positive event of eating together and listing to music can really make it special event. It can also be kinda hard, emotionally, so whatever you feel prepared for. If you can schedule therapy soon after doing it, it might be best!

    I'm a fan of taking classes to mix things up, and sometimes community colleges offer courses you can just pick up. We have a metal working class that I've been eyeing. I'm not great at convincing myself to go to things on the pretense of making friends, but going out to learn a thing sometimes has the side benefit of adding some social connections. I'm much more eager to learn random skills.


    Feeling at home, like feeling satisfied with life in general, are such personal and life long pursuits it can be hard to advise on what would work for someone else. I have friends who wander the world because settling just never made sense, and I have friends who live with their parents because its what they need. I don't feel like I ever truly overcome it, but I do think everyone feels this way sometimes. Maybe for a short while, or for a very long time.

    I look to creative pursuits to help me bridge the gaps when I'm feeling out of sorts, and try to remind myself of all the stuff that makes me feel productive and good.

    DoodmannCalica
  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    I would assess your environment. Its sorta hippy dippy feeling to point to a messy or under-decorated apartment as being an issue that's 10 years in the running, but it can certainly improve things if that's not something you've invested any time in. I've walked into apartments where they have literally nothing on the walls, and its generally a bit cold and uninviting. People put pictures of their families up for a reason, and it could be a positive step.

    I'd go with this first. It's a bit hard for me to asses as putting stuff up on the walls kind of coincided with having kids and moving to a rental house rather than apt, but I do think that having family pictures up on the walls was a huge difference in looking around and feeling like it's my 'home' rather than 'temporary place where I'm living'.

    I mean, some of this gets into whether you're thinking of staying where you are more permanently versus moving anyway (like, we know that we're likely moving in 1-2 years, so to me 'home' still is going to mean 'house we buy when we move for more final career positions' rather than 'house we're living at how'), but I do agree that if you just have a few shelves and nothing that's a personal style or touch it's always going to feel like someone else's house

    tynicCalica
  • CelloCello Registered User regular
    Honestly, I get this, and my solution has mostly been to just go home and crash on weekends/certain occasional weeknights, and to have a specific event once a week with my family

    I don't think it's a flaw to be attached to your parents or feel closer to them than your friends! I find mostly that spending too much time alone is a depression trigger for me, but living full-time at home is too much of a personal sacrifice in terms of independence, accessibility to friends, etc. It isn't as much a thing of closeness for me, more that too much time alone and I get trapped in my own head, haha.

    I'm sure I'd spend less time here if I had a significant other and things that made my apartment feel like it was less quiet or empty, but I prefer to keep it as a little sanctuary instead of a prison for myself. Maybe see if you can drop by home every other weekend or so and if that helps the feeling abate?

    Steam
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    ceresDoodmannCalica
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited June 12
    I've always felt my homes are like shells as a hermit crab. When I get one, regardless of how good it is, I set to making it my home with my stuff and whatever aesthetic things I can possibly do. Paint the walls! Play ambient music you like in an ambient way whenever you are home! Make a project each weekend, even if only for a few minutes, to do something to make the house or apartment better and more yours.

    And if you have to leave it, bail quickly and hapily knowing there will be another place you can do that with down the line.

    Things are different for everyone, but the only thing that ever made a place feel like home for me was the act of working on it to make it my home. When I wasnt allowed to paint the walls of a dorm or apartment I would nail up colorful bedsheets with fancy broad-head nails to bring in color and make it feel like a goddamn fancy tent. Now that I own a place, whenever I feel like this I go spend a few hours clearing out more of the Encmire or working on moving furniture around the house to make it feel ~just so~.

    Enc on
    CalicaGarick
  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    aaaaaaaa

    It was a post about pets but also a bowl full of horrible worms because your budgie blends in perfectly with your clothes and I nearly reflex-closed the tab

    Omg I'm sorry! Those are sprouts!

    Jedoc wrote: »
    The GOP cares about babies until they're born, soldiers until they're in need of care, and families until they interfere with stockholder dividends.
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Calica wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    aaaaaaaa

    It was a post about pets but also a bowl full of horrible worms because your budgie blends in perfectly with your clothes and I nearly reflex-closed the tab

    Omg I'm sorry! Those are sprouts!

    I figured it out eventually, but for a second there I went aaaaaaa

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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