Music Videos and Moving Home

It’s moving back to your small town and not feeling the same proud looks given to you by high school teachers and second cousins and your grandmother’s old friends anymore.

“What year are you in, dear?” You still hold a lot of promise and potential when you answer “this is my third.” When you say “Oh, I’m actually done now and back at home for awhile!” the micro-expression of pity you can detect is the visual representation of the sound of a ticking clock.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

It is the only sound you hear through the silence of your small town.

In the city where you went to university, it was loud. Your roommates blasted music from the speakers they proudly brought back from Christmas break, the traffic was twenty four hours, your to-do list played in the back of your mind and you were clicking away trying to find an apartment for next year only a month after moving into your current dwelling. There were party invitations and horns honking from your ride to class and television shows to watch and laughter over coffee at the hipster cafe that you knew you weren’t cool enough for but it was just down the road. It was thumping music and flashing lights. It was so loud you forgot that you were there for four years and now you’re nearly 22 and you almost didn’t notice.

Now you’re back in your two bar town and it’s quiet and all you can hear over the silence is ticking. It is sometimes muffled by the sound of your teenage brother blasting violent video games, or your high school friends home from grad school for the weekend. But the ticking is even louder when you find yourself having an out of body experience as you hear yourself groaning loudly over your mother not letting you get a milkshake at McDonald’s. You just spent the summer at an internship at a large corporation across the country but two weeks after leaving that sparkly city you are slamming your bedroom door over a frosted treat.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

It’s having your happiest Sunday in months, filled to the brim with family who understand what makes you act how you do and laughter and relaxation and friends, followed by a Monday with a dud job interview and tears as you compare yourself to your peers and don’t feel you’re measuring up. It’s feeling overwhelmingly happy that you are home and with loved ones, followed by feeling a deep restlessness at not being wherever else it feels like you are supposed to be, three times a day, every day. It’s the contortions your stomach does while reading blogs posted by girls you went to high school with who are excited to begin writing their own small town stories. Are you supposed to want that? Are you supposed to know what you want?

It’s the lostness. It’s the directionlessness. It’s watching your friends take their first shaky steps on the paths toward the person they will become, tentatively, but confidently, while watching yourself curl up into a fetal position, reverting to infancy, forgetting how to be an adult more with each day.

It’s craving a path and a place and a purpose but knowing that where you want to go hasn’t been paved out yet. It’s having the patience to muster the courage to become who you will be.

It’s self-medicating by watching the same music video over, and over, and over, when it all becomes too much.

It’s moving home.

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