Dear Marcie

I have been away from my hometown for about six years. I have no family here, so I travel about twice a month to spend time with family, which is about two hours away. My job is keeping me here since I am under contract, and my family is asking when I am going home. I like it here in McAllen, and I made myself my own life here. I asked my parents (who are in their seventies) about how they feel about the situation. All they said was “do what makes you happy." I feel guilty and selfish for staying here. How will I know when it's time for me to go home?

-- a little lost and worried


Dearest Misplaced


I think you know the answer to this question. However, you may need reassurance to ease the daily heartache you face. It sounds like your parents have your best interest in mind. Moving away from home creates a sense of loss for all parties. It’s perfectly natural to feel as though you aren’t going to have the sense of “home”. But there’s also the excitement and joy of branching out and experiencing new “firsts” in your life.

As a parent you want what’s best for your child, and I’m sure your parents are proud knowing that they have raised a child that has succeeded in reaching a level of independence. Often things happen for a reason and perhaps this is where you need to be for the moment as a building block for you career and future. With much admiration, I’m ecstatic that you’re pursing your opportunity here in the Valley. Give it a little bit of time. Discover yourself and what your job has to offer. Now, if things should not work out at this particular job ( for whatever reason), then perhaps you should explore the possibility of taking the opportunity to move closer to your family. It may just be that the time you put in now will give you the experience you need and open doors to a better position that happens to be closer to home.

Nonetheless, I don’t see any reason for you to be feeling guilty, at all. You at least find the time, despite your schedule, to frequent home as much as possible. Kudos! Most will find excuses as why they “can’t” make it back, at least until certain holidays or emergency situations.

In time you’ll know what the right choice is for you to make based on which doors close and which ones open. I can sit and give you my little bit of advice, but ultimately you should do what you see fit for your changing situation. Don’t let the “what ifs” slow you down or hold you back as you make the effort to transition to adulthood, as we all must do.