My home is now in Saint Louis, Missouri, as opposed to Hamilton, New York. Today in Saint Louis, we are not on lock-down. Everyone is taking the precautions of trying to wear masks and keeping their social distances, but there are still a good amount of people out in the streets trying to get a taste of that fresh midwestern air. The major parks are flooded with dogs walkers, families, bikers, roller bladers, and runners on the hot and sunny days during the weekends.

BUT… nowadays we spend most of our days indoors, so when I look outside, I feel… abnormal. I can’t go to my favorite barbeque spot, or hit up some museums, or just chill at my friends’ houses and make some more memories with them. All the places that I can get the signature Saint Louis styled food are just non-existent right now. The gooey butter cakes, the toasted raviolis, the Bogarts and SugarFire bbq joints, the Imo’s Pizza. The museums, the Zoo, the Science Center, the Muny are all of the little pieces that make up St. Louis is non-operational. Remembering the times where St. Louis was alive, to where we are now is unprecedented. And yet, me and my friends are attempting to make it come alive again.

One fairly sunny day with a hint of clouds, early in the evening, 8 of my friends came up with an idea. We’ve seen it happening on social media and through our other friend threads. We knew that if we were not quarantined, then we’d definitely be with each other almost every day. But given our specific situation, my friends and I met up in our high school’s upper campus parking lot. Parking in a circle, we sat in the trunks of our cars, all drinking our respective wines or champagnes and just talking. Catching up, reminiscing on summer ‘16, which seemed to be the best summer to date as we shared our last few months together as friends before we all ventured into our new chapters of college. Talking about our grievances, but also the joys that have come from us being quarantined in St. Louis. Sharing similar and different stories of how we all got to this exact place shows that no matter where we all were before this, we are here now and with one another. Being there for my friends brought in the thought to acknowledge the little parts of our lives that we are grateful for. Even though our worlds are turned upside down right now, finding the smallest of details to be thankful for helps put our lives in perspective. Holding onto the friends that have gotten you through tough times and who have also made your life a lot brighter is a great way to accompany one another.

Time is what we have right now. Time to reflect, to plan, to escape, to reinvent. We have time during these very uncertain circumstances to see who and what is important to us. In finding the people who we care most about in our lives, it can improve our situations. I feel like I am in high school again as I completely moved in with my parents and my siblings were trickling in the house. I am living with my family, just like the first 18 years of my life, and trying to value every moment because sooner or later it will be gone. My mom explained that I have my entire life living apart from my family, so a few months with them now is something to be very grateful for. So I’m taking this time to be vulnerable in a way and not trying to be the immediate adult that the world expects. I am sitting through family meetings as we sort out our lives and map out the various paths that all three of the children have in front of us. I am letting my parents use this time to help sort out our lives the best we can so when this is all over, we won’t be scared, but prepared.

Soon, I will be out in the world, and I know that I won’t be alone. I know for sure that I will always have my close friends and my family supporting me as we move ahead. And I will always have my hometown to return to.

4 Replies to “Hangin at Home with the Homies

  1. Love the idea of meeting up with your friends in a circle of cars just to hang out and talk. Have to try this!
    Also needed to hear your positive outlook on all of the time that we have now. I will definitely take your advice and start reflecting.
    Thanks for the great post!

  2. Thanks for this post Rachel, I can really relate. I am also moved back home with my family and friends from high school and trying to navigate these next few months has not been easy. I agree with you that this is a time that we can use to figure out what lies ahead for us and what our next plans are. It is hard to not feel upset and down at times, but I am starting to realize how grateful I am for this extra time at home to spend with my siblings, parents, and friends. This very well may be the last time I am at home for a while, not knowing what comes next, so I’m trying to cherish these extra few months. It is also nice to hang out and reconnect with some high school friends who I haven’t seen in a while, before we all move on to the next chapter of our lives- thanks for this post!

  3. Rachel, thanks for sharing this! It was great to hear you speak so positively about our time right now. I have found that it has been so easy to keep thinking about the what-could-have-been’s if we had not encountered this virus, but you are so right in saying that we have been granted time that we otherwise may not have had. I am also living back home and, while tough at times, it has been great to be together with the 6 of us when that hasn’t been the case in so long. Great post!

  4. Hey Rach! Thanks for sharing your experiences of readjusting to life at home. It is refreshing how you are putting this situation in as much of a positive light as you can–appreciating time spent with family and cherishing home town friendships. I definitely miss my friends from home, and it’s great that you have come up with fun ways to connect with them (at an appropriate social distance). I also like that you point out how this is a time to reflect–on our college experiences, various relationships, and about the crazy circumstances we are experiencing.

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