Earlier this week, I stood on Lancaster Railway station waiting for the 14:39 Virgin train to London Euston for the las time, and I had a thought: “Do I Instagram this moment? It’s probably significant.” I never bothered, can’t say (yet) that I regret that. I still haven’t had that “this is it, this is the end moment” that everyone else on my Facebook feed seems to be having. I haven’t completely moved out of Lancaster yet, a load of my stuff still sits in my house there, but I have moved back into my parents house until I travel in September, so full all intents and purposes, I no longer live there. Maybe it will hit me when I need to find places in my room for all my stuff, or when I pack the last box of kitchen utensils for the last time, or maybe it will be when I stand alongside my friends at Graduation. I just don’t see it happening. Even though I won’t be able to go back like my friends will next year, when they need a break from the real world, I just don’t really get that end moment.
There are things about being home that are just awesome: having a decent shower, the ability to have a nice relaxing bath without feeling like you’re in a cave with a cave troll jumping above you (our extractor fan was rather noisy), being able to sit downstairs without worrying about next doors cat climbing through the window, having a big TV that has sky and HD and record and shows sport how it should be watched, the dishwasher (not having to wash all the dishes is vastly underrated) a separate washer and dryer, a garden, cars to pop to the shops in, better food, bath towels (not Disney beach towels – as much as I love them, there is nothing like getting out of the bath and wrapping yourself in a fluffy bath towel), family, and Liverpool.
Liverpool. It is supreme in almost every way to Lancaster. Better shops, transport, eating out opportunities, garden centres, football, parks, river, people, night-out venues, I can’t express how much I miss the amenities here when I am in Lancaster. Shopping there is nearly impossible when you have experienced the choice in Liverpool City Centre, and I am not a shopping connoisseur by any means. I am quite fiercely proud of being a Scouser and I definitely will defend the city when I am not here and someone criticises it in a way that I won’t do for Lancaster. It isn’t as good in the Pub, or probably little café, department as Lancaster, and I will miss being able to pop into one and have a drink with my friends when I want to, but I think I will be pleased to leave the city behind. It feels quite quaint in comparison to Liverpool. By no means do I think I made an incorrect decision attending Lancaster University, but I’m pleased I will have more….well more ‘city’ now as I am back.
I’ve tried to start with the positives of being at home first, because once I think about the negatives, I know that the positives will be forgotten in my mind. I feel like I should throw in a disclaimer or two here. I am trying my best not to sound like a spoilt brat, please don’t think that I am being one as I go forward. Many of the problems I am experiencing are not the fault of my family. I am not ungrateful that I have the chance to move back in with my parents. I am really trying not to sound unreasonable, or be unreasonable. Now as that is settled, onwards.
Since I moved to Lancaster, I have always struggled with where to call home. At some point early on, I subconsciously made the decision that Lancaster was home, and Liverpool was home home. And then, I started to just call the place I wasn’t at home. I don’t really consider Lancaster home, but what coming back to my parent’s house has made me realise is that this no longer feels like home either.
I miss a lot of things about living in Lancaster, but I think it’s more about living under my own roof with my flat/house mate(s) than living in the city (as I’ve said, it’s not exactly the greatest place on Earth). As much as I love living back in Liverpool and all the things that come with living at ‘home’, there is a lot I miss, such as: not getting strange looks or disparaging comments for bizarre sleeping patterns after watching too many episodes of , having a takeaway, having a room with a desk (I am very grateful that I have my own room, but in comparison to what I have been used to at Uni, my room at home is small and doesn’t feel like my own in the same way my Uni rooms do, well, did), hoovering/dusting/cleaning/tidying/washin/washin-up as little as humanly possible to the point where you will reuse a plate so you don’t have to wash it, eating a bowl or soup from a special soup-pan bowl while watching dodgy daytime TV with your housemate, living under your own rules (my parents are reaosnable, and don’t have many ‘rules’, but even so, it feels quite stifling, and I feel nagged/snapped at, just gets me down when I am used to living on my own) living in a quiet house (there is always something going on, someone saying something, and there is nowhere in the house that I feel I can go to get away from it), days where I don’t do anything and that’s OK, wearing odd socks, eating leftovers for breakfast, jelly for lunch and cereal for tea, going out with your friends at any time for any reason, going on the computer without being asked “what are you doing? what are you looking at?”
(You can probably see why I wrote the disclaimers first.)
My parents allowing me to move back in has got me out of such a tight spot. Travelling in September is costing me a lot, an amount I wouldn’t be able to afford if I had to pay for somewhere to live. It’s just, I expected it to feel great to move back in and it, well, it just doesn’t. I like being able to spend time with my family and my friends, but I already miss the laid back nature of hanging with my friends (and my friends themselves) from University. It’s only been 3/4 days and I already want to move back out. I can’t decide if this is what everyone feels when they have to move back in, or whether this is the realisation that it is finishing, I feel like it is the former, but I am sure some people would say I am denying that I am feeling the latter. I do hope it will change and that I will find the things my brother’s do less annoying and I will enjoy being at ‘home’ more than I currently am doing, but I think this might be how my summer feels. I really need to get a job (a rant for another day I feel.)
I guess ‘Home, Sweet Home’ can’t apply to me until I get back from travelling, get a proper job, and my own place to live; my own place in the real world.
(Also, Daily Post, your challenge was accepted, and completed, and it works with what I was writing!)