After a good but all-too-short night’s sleep, I awoke and smelled breakfast cooking in the kitchen. When I got there, my dad was behind the stove serving up some Portuguese sausage, eggs and rice, just like he did when I was a kid.
“What are you doing up so early?” he asked. It wasn’t even 6 a.m. yet, still considered an ungodly time of day by me in normal circumstances.
“I’m still on East Coast time so it’s already lunch there,” I replied.
Despite all this time away (and the fact that I wasn’t even living with them before I left), being at my parents’ house took me back in time. Having breakfast with them seemed so normal (even though this is a completely different house than the one in which I grew up).
As we ate, I looked at my parents and noticed for the first time how old they are. It’s not that they’re exceptionally old looking or anything, but they just seemed older than I remembered them being. Could they have aged so quickly while I was away or had I just been too caught up living my life to notice before? This was a surprising revelation for me.
Before leaving for work, my mom asked, “So what are you gonna do now?” Isn’t that the question of a lifetime? It was certainly something I thought traveling would help me solve. However, in actuality, it’s a question that has become more complex over time.
I’m not sure if it’s due to some quarterlife/midlife crisis from which I’m suffering or the reverse culture shock of being back home in Hawaiʻi. Whatever it is, there is an overwhelming feeling of being “stuck” back where I started again (without a job this time) as if nothing has changed.
It was definitely too early in the morning (and too early in my return – day one for goodness sake!) to contemplate the future with such intensity. So, to avoid the matter altogether, I decided to just leave it for another day.