I have stopped working full-time after three years working in an office (or two). I have gone back to my parents' new house and settled in. My parents recently decided to move to a new house leaving the old house to be leased to other people. I finally unpacked my stuff after three weeks staying in the house. It was a long and slow process. Somehow, I couldn't see the room that I slept in as my own room. But, the fact started to sink in and I knew it would be ridiculous to keep my stuff in different boxes scattered all over the house.
After the first three weeks, I started to question myself a lot. Did I make the right decision with coming back home? Would it be better if I stayed in Jakarta and took that job offer (I was not interested in the job at all)? I wasn't feeling comfortable with myself and was anxious about the future. Few of my friends said that the reaction was normal, but I must focus on the positive sides instead the depressing ones. Well, yeah of course.
And then I realised what kind of role that I took when I decided to move back. Apparently, my parents need a third-party to create some kind of balance in the household. Their children, I am the youngest, have been living away from them for quite a long period and the absence of children in the household seemed to increase the friction and tension between them. I've heard from my mum how my dad sometimes acted incredibly selfish, and often I would take my mum's side on this kind of situation. But after living with them for several weeks, I realised that the problems lay within the two of them. Soon, I found out that I was the new conflict manager in the house.
It's a bitter-sweet feeling to play and act according to this role. I love my parents to death, but dear god, they can drive me insane sometimes. I keep on reminding myself that people most of the time act childish anyway and it's (kinda) normal...whatever normal means. It's also a bit worrying to see the way my parents are depending too much on each other. It seems like they cannot function well if separated. At least, that's my evaluation on my dad. He's way too depended on my mum. God forbid if she passes before him...not that I want him to pass anytime soon.
On the bright side, it still surprises me to see how both parents seem to manage tolerate each other enough to stop them from starting a shouting fight. I know when they are upset with each other and my mum would tell me directly what happened, while my dad just sulked in front of the telly. But she would make him his afternoon coffee, and he would drink it without saying anything much. I just don't understand. Maybe it's love, maybe it's old habit.
So, it's not all bad. Moving back to ze parents' house can be seen as a defeat. I got a friend who seemed surprised (not in a good way) when she found out I was back home. She said something like Jakarta would give a lot of opportunities and offer different prospects to me, and she was shocked that I didn't get them. I told her that opportunity had never been the case. I was tired, fed up, terribly lonely and lost my perspective. Going home felt like a warm idea in my empty head (and heart). I have lots of really lovely friends who supported my moving back, both in Jakarta and my home town. They really made things seem so much better.
Back to home situation, I'm feeling a bit tired now, which leads me to writing this entry. Anyone who has dealt with conflict knows that it's never easy, especially when it involves two of the most important people in your life. It hasn't yet reached the crazy melt-down point, but I know I'm quite upset with the general situation at home. Although, I'm constantly reminding myself that it IS still probation time. Wait another two months, maybe I will pass the insanity and come out as a new (better) more-patient and reliable (ha!) person. I wish myself luck. Godspeed!