Where have you been?

"I'll be OK," I wrote a whole year ago.

And I have been.

I've been hanging out with friends.

And with fire.

And with drinks.
And, when Ayla's involved, with phones constantly out.
I've been working.

Yes, my job title is still "copywriter."
I wear a lot of hats.

I've been running.

I meant to do an entire post on this picture.
I still might.

Though probably not nearly as much as I should.

I've been lovin' on my new niece.


And I've been living with my parents.

Who have also been lovin' on my niece.

(The cat was all, "Hey, why did we move?" But she got over it.)

With the help of many belly rubs.

Moving back in with your parents when you're in your 30s is a strange experience, a weird mix of adulthood and being a teenager again. They love you and want to help you out, but they also know you can take care of yourself, because they've seen you do it for the last 10 years. They don't really need to do the strict-parent thing they did when you were 17, and frankly, they don't want to anymore. That part of their lives is behind them.

The result (at least for me) is a pair of extremely pleasant roommates who don't mind at all when you eat all their cereal and don't replace it. We hang out with the neighbors. We go for walks around the neighborhood. We grill steaks and eat at the tiki bar.

Oh, that's right. My parents have a tiki bar. There's also a pool. A hot tub. A bar with a tap in the basement. Cable TV. All the little extras you gradually accumulate after working for 35 years, after the kids are out of college and can fend for themselves.

I intended to stay a month, maybe two, while I found a new place and got back on my feet. It's now been over a year.

And, honestly, it's time to go. I need to be on my own again. I need to remember what it feels like to have to do a balance inquiry before a withdrawal at an ATM. I need to start doing my own cooking again.

This has been a good year. It's been an important year. But it's also been a year of transition. And now it's time to move on.

As it turns out, you can go home again. But you shouldn't stay there forever.

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