The Moving Back Home Effect

This blog almost got me a job, at least, so I was told. Of course, it didn't, otherwise I'd have much better things to do than to write this. Alas, here I stay, writing away on Blogger 'till my heart's content. This blog, I'm sure, as well as getting my hopes up for possible employment could also potentially cost me a job (read older posts and you'll see I'm incapable of working in retail without complaining to the world and unable to portray sarcasm through writing). However, I think there's still sufficient potential for this blog to embarrass me yet. Blogging is a recepie for disaster - the ability to write anything you like and publish it to the world is a dangerous game - and I'm certainly no exception. Unfortunately I think this post may well prove I can humiliate myself further, so to my future self, I apologise.
One observation I've made (it's highly likely it was on a train, where the best conclusions are met)
is that most of us are occasionally guilty of trying to maintain a happy exterior. In the past I've known many friends to pretend everything is fine when it hasn't been. And then there are the serial offenders, those who constantly radiate a content exterior when they're probably not.
I've been unemployed for over a month - and recently I bumped into an old school friend and whispered this sad fact through gritted teeth and an apologetic  look. It was very tempting to plaster on a smile and make something up.
Most of us are guilty of trying to appear serene and happy on the surface to protect our pride. Why else do we upload hundreds of Facebook photos of nights out? Or update our status with every piece of good news we get? Facebook has become the ultimate source to show our friends that we're doing fine- I'd know in the blink of an eye when someone gets a job, engaged or drunk- alas, if someone got fired/dumped/got their foot stuck in a toilet, I'd never know. But what I'm about to admit rebels against all of this- I'm lonely.
Before you send flowers- let me elaborate. Since moving back from university earlier this year, I've nodded knowingly every time I hear the news about graduate unemployment and I'm cushioned by the knowledge that I'm not alone.The sad fact is, however, that I am.
One issue never mentioned, is that returning home to live after three years away can be an isolating experience when you've grown apart from all of your old friends. Aside from having my very best and oldest friend living nearby, I have very little interaction with others my age, and it's been difficult to admit, not at least to myself.
After three years of being surrounded by friends, I've noticed that not having the support of others changes your outlook on everything. Having friends around gives the world a lighter glow, and problems seem easy to overcome. Any worry can be talked out, any fear overcome and any mood lifted. Sadly, with everything else in life, you don't realise it until it's gone. I'm no longer ashamed to admit that I'm still unemployed - it's widely recognised that jobs are very hard to come by at the moment. But admitting that I'm quite lonely, that's a lot harder. So here's a list to help you recognise the signs of loneliness before it's too late:

- When you get that inevitable weekly and oh-so-personal text from your network provider, you actually read it all the way through. Three times. And contemplate texting back.

-  In every queue, you start to talk to people about the weather and take it personally when they don't seem as enthused as you.

- You watch Friends with an increasing feeling of alienation and wonder how on earth they manage to maintain five friendships.

- You find yourself opening doors a lot quicker, with the secret hope your toys will have come to life.

- Your toys will be out of the loft and on your floor. Age is irrelevant here.

-  Hairdressers' small talk stops becoming the reason for not getting your hair cut.

- You no longer worry that laughing to yourself is a sign of insanity.

- Emailing yourself as an innocent alternative to a memory stick starts to have a resounding irony.


  1. It really is tough out there at the moment, especially for graduates.

    Im sure you probably saw this:


    Anyhow, if you didnt, well, read it, if you did, I just wanted to remind you of it.

    In these days you have to find something that keeps you content inside, because I think the overall point of your post is that nothing outside can make us truly happy. So, wirte, make up your own projects. Make a book of photos, anything to keep you busy. A chnace will come along. I know it will. Just gotta stick these days out. Then what you learn now will maybe connect together later on when youre looking back.

  2. Thanks for reading! I hadn't read that article before now, I found it really interesting. And comforting that Steve Jobs didn't finish college! And that's true, any little projects you need to keep you sane are never a waste of time, writing this blog has definitely been a life-saver.

  3. Your post reminded me of the phenomena known as "reverse culture shock".

    When we go off somewhere new, we are prepared for the differences, for the culture shock of different people doing things in different ways.

    But when we come home, we think we know what to expect. Yet we often find ourselves more unsettled than ever.

    Everything might be the same (more or less), but the problem is we are not. We have been through new experiences and we have changed. Back home, nothing has, and it seems to expect us to return to who we were before. It doesn't acknowledge we are no longer the same person.

    The feeling of being trapped or condemned can be overwhelming, and will definitely contribute to a sense of meloncholia.

    Time to do something different.
    Time to force change


  4. Thank you for reading :) and I didn't know such a phrase existed! But it's completely true. Having a different perspective on life than you did the last time you lived somewhere can make you feel like you're going mad!