Staying away from family is a good experience; if only because those moments that you have to steal and hoard to be with them become so much more precious.
I had lived with my family for almost my entire life till the time I left home to get some more education. And looking back, it was a very protected existence all along! Life is a lot simpler when you know you are going home every single day to people who love you, no matter what. You can have a crabby day and throw tantrums or have your sweetest day but at the end of it someone is waiting at home for you. In hindsight, it is a safe world and you are never on your own. Funnily enough, while I lived at home, I chafed against all the rules and regulations...no terribly late nights, the parents doling out advice: "Do make an effort to be a little tidier. Your room might be pleasantly surprised to look a little better than as if it has just been through a mini-tornado" or the eternal "Hey you know what...the sun does rise in the East...just telling you coz you have probably never seen it any earlier than when it is plonk in the middle of the afternoon sky!!!" So I constantly cribbed and dreamed about "The day I shall be independent...staying on my own...a free bird..."
So when I finally did move into a hostel...the first few days were bliss. While other people pined for home and actually had bouts of home-sickness, to me it seemed all like an adventure. Hanging out with friends and chatting away to glory into the wee hours, getting up as and when I desired (though classes in the morning kinda put an abrupt end to that dream), drinking umpteen cups of coffee, thriving in the piles and piles of mess in my room...in short doing all that I always thought I wanted to! This was fun till the time I realised that there is only so much "freaking out" that I can get up to...beyond that life has to have atleast the slightest hint of a pattern. Home was never really a place with restrictions, but a place where my bid for freedom did not venture into the wild zone. Family has this unique ability to let you be just as you wish to...no pretence, no masks...nobody cares if you have a rude day or a fat day (hahaha...those who know me shall definitely get this! :D :D) There is something so comforting about coming home again...being able to let your hair down and dropping all your "acts". It is weird but today it seems to me as if I have the most freedom when I am home.
And home is not just the place I go back to but the people I love most in the world...people who complete me. I am truly blessed!