One of the worst adult decisions I have ever made was moving back in with my parents.
I was 27 (one month shy of 28) and had been living in Chicago for the past two years. The main reasons, or excuses, I had for moving back home included the following:
1. My roommate wanted to move out of our cold, crappy, mice and cockroach infested apartment, and into a warmer, more expensive place where the refrigerator wasn’t sitting on top of a block of wood and the only living residents were me and him.
2. My computer literally took 10 minutes to boot up and kept giving me that blue screen of death.
3. My temporary data entry job was ending in March and NO ONE*, not even the biodegradable dog poop bag company located a block away from my apartment would hire me.
*I actually trained for this job at a doggy daycare service where I picked up dogs throughout the city and dropped them off at the end of the day; however, I tend to block that memory from my mind.
The plan was to return home in March (this is 2012), find a part-time job, save up some money, buy a new computer, and move out in August. This all changed when I applied to graduate school in the fall and started thinking that I might as well wait to hear back from these schools before moving out. April 2013 rolls around. I was declined acceptance into all six schools I applied to. At this point, I should have thanked my parents for letting me stay with them and left, but instead, I devised a new plan to finish working my current job (which ended in July) and take some time off to travel (staying with friends and family), re-apply to graduate school, and self-publish my first book. So in late August, I would hit the road and not return until sometime in October, where at that point, my book will be finished, grad applications complete, and I can go back to work and finally move out of my parents’ house a few months shy of my 30th birthday.
The plan made sense to me but didn’t make sense to my parents who after months and months of holding in all their career-related questions and concerns finally exploded over dinner.
“So I’ll be leaving for my trip this Saturday,” I announced.
“When will you be back?” asked my mom.
“Sometime in October,” I replied.
“What about work?” asked my dad.
“When I get back I’m going to work as a substitute at my old job.”
“Is that full-time?” asked my mom.
“I’m not sure how it works,” I said. “They call you when needed.”
“JASON!” semi-screamed my dad. “YOU GOT TO GET A JOB! YOU’RE ALMOST 30! I’VE BEEN TELLING YA, YOU NEED TO WORK! YOU NEED…”
My stomach dropped. I lost my appetite. I told my parents I was done and that I wasn’t about to get in some huge argument. “YOU’LL BE LIVING ON THE STREET! I OWNED A HOUSE AT YOUR AGE!” As I walked downstairs, I asked my dad why he was shouting, and he said in a loud voice, “I’M NOT SHOUTING!”
I packed up everything I could. My parents sat in the den watching TV while I carried my belongings from the basement to my car. Once everything was packed, I put on my shoes, opened the garage door, and shouted “BYE!”
My mom shouted “BYE!” back, and I left.
I haven’t talked to my parents since this all happened and don’t plan on talking to them anytime soon. I am not necessarily angry. I am very thankful that they let me stay at their place for as long as they did. That’s about it though. I understand that it is their house and I, at 29, should NOT have been there for as long as I was. The way everything works in these particular (adult living with parents) situations is just fucked. I don’t think my parents knew how to treat me and I didn’t know how to treat them. The main difference from living with my parents back when I was growing up and now, is that I am no longer a child. We are all adults and the rules of parenting no longer apply, but then again, when you live under your parents’ roof as an adult, they still treat you like a child.
The main things I have learned from this experience is how much of a pussy I was, and how, even at 29, I never fully detached from my parents. I remember talking to my therapist and realizing that I needed to move out almost a year ago. I don’t know what I was thinking. It was like I was afraid to leave and make that transition into adulthood. I am now in the mindset of not relying on my parents for anything, and the idea of that is freeing. For the longest time it was like my mom and dad still had this weird parental power over me.
I think it’s important for everyone to realize that they are their own person and as long as you are a decent human being then fuck everyone else. I was so sick and tired and depressed living with my parents and hiding who I was because they have this set plan for how I’m supposed to live my life. Career. Average salary. House. 401K. Health benefits. Retirement. HEY MOM AND DAD THAT SHIT MAKES ME WANT TO TAKE A GUN TO MY HEAD AND PULL THE TRIGGER! If that lifestyle works for you, fine, but it doesn’t work for me. I hear the way you talk about your jobs. Your work life does not sound like anything that I want so STOP pushing it on me! I refuse to be miserable in my job and am a responsible person who has been working his ass off to do something that takes a long time and serious dedication, so why don’t you LISTEN to me when I talk and try to explain this writing shit to you both instead of telling me what I NEED to do and making me feel like a PIECE OF SHIT! Your CARE and LOVE and CONCERN is no longer wanted as it has turned into something HARMFUL. And dad, I DON’T WANT TO BE A FUCKING COP ANYMORE! So please do what I do with that doggy day care job and block that shit from your mind.
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