30 July 2012

Boomerang Kid, not as fun as it sounds

I am a boomerang kid.  It sounds fun and playful; it is not.  One simple google search immediately confirms the suspicions, this is not a positive word... this is failure. 
Foreshadow: me learning to throw a boomerang in February

A boomerang kid is defined as a young adult who lives with his or her parents after a period of living away from home. Of the 5.4 million search results, three of them on the first page include, "Parents How to Kick Your Kid Out of the Nest," "Don't Let Boomerang Kids Derail Your Goals," and "Five Survival Tips for Parents of Boomerang Kids."  This doesn't sound like a sweet homecoming, but instead a disease ridden pest that needs to be eradicated from your house.

Now of course my parents have NOT made me feel even an inkling of being an unwanted insect.  They welcomed me home with open arms.  Problem is, I don't want to be a boomerang kid.

I lived in a warzone!  I traveled the world!  I spent time in a mud hut in Uganda and managed a travel debacle involving a bus in Dubai.  I got this independence thing pretty down pat...but now I need my mommy.

I wrote about my plan on this blog.  I had it all figured out.  In March I decided to leave Afghanistan in June, and I would spend a month or two traveling to see friends and family; then settle into a new job supporting our troops stateside.  Then reality hit me like a 2 ton brick.  While still in Afghanistan I applied for a job I thought was perfect for me!  I would help wounded warriors go to college.   I mean who else would have the unique work experience of being a college recruiter for 2 years, and work with wounded warriors in a warzone?  Well, apparently someone else did that, or better.  I didn't get the job.  I imposed a 24 hour grief period, then moved on.  I was still excited to go home and start a new adventure! 

Shortly before returning home I applied for another position that involved traveling and supporting our troops.  Again I naively thought, I got this.  Only 5 interviews later I figured out someone else had nearly the same experience as me and was a better fit.  That pity party lasted a wee bit longer. 

So those two jobs weren't for me.  But what is?  I was so sure I knew what I wanted.  I was so sure I set myself up to have the degree, the experience, the attitude to get what I wanted.

I even tried volunteering for a local troop organization and was told they don't take volunteers.  I can't even do the work I love for free?  What?!?!

I've been home nearly 2 months and this is my first post.  It's hard to write a blogworthy life, when I'm sitting on my parents' couch watching Gilmore Girls reruns.  I have 3 gorilla boxes stacked in my room, untouched, because unpacking them means I live here. 

I chose this.  It's not some crazy set of circumstances I've been blindly plunged into.  I chose to leave.  A friend from college asked me the other day what was the hardest thing about being in Afghanistan.  I contemplated answering the heat, the rockets, the living situation, but all of that was manageable.  My response, "leaving." 

I don't want to go back.  I want to go forward.  I just gotta figure out how.

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