My life Stateside feels like a chapter out of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I’m (temporarily!!!) staying at my parents house in Northern California and not only does it feel like my life in Japan never existed, but it also feels like the last 16 years of my life never existed as well. I’m friendless, carless, jobless and phoneless. I snack on PP&J and granola bars while watching reruns of Law and Order and last weekend I went with my parents to the Mall’s cineplex to watch Star Trek. I can’t help but think that I’m living the life of a 10-year-old on summer vacation.
I no longer have a driver’s license (it got suspended due to excessive moving violations) so I’ve inherited my mom’s three speed bike, which I pedal back and forth to the library every other day. It’s turquoise and is decorated with Hawaiian flower decals and makes this annoying whirring, clanking noise. So not cool. The kids at the local skate park all stop and stare whenever I ride by and I pretend not to notice.
My best and only friend is my mom’s dog. His name is “Happy Camper” and he’s a vegetarian. His favorite foods are carrots and apple cores. He looks like a mop. Together, we take walks along the beach and read books about brain science.
“But you have a bank account.” This was the reason my dad gave to contradict my assertion that I’m living the life of a 10-year-old.
“Dad, 10-year-olds have banks accounts,” I argued. “And they probably have more money in their savings than I do. And…” I added, “They have cell phones.”
I know that this is only temporary. And I know that soon I’ll be off on adventure number 345 and I’ll look back fondly on this month- long vacation in Limbo. But it’s hard to look at this as a summer break when all of my thoughts are preoccupied with the stress of jump-starting my Adult life all of over again. I have to start from scratch, beginning with pin-pointing where in the wide World I want to live next.
The options are limitless and so overwhelming that it’s enough to make me want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my head and sleep until my mom comes in and scolds me for not doing the dishes.