What I Learned by Moving in With My Parents
At twenty-four, the idea of moving home wasn’t quite what I had in mind. The thought of returning to my hometown, a place I tried hard to escape, and reverting back to the sheer adolescence of living under my parents roof made me anxious. Yet, sometimes we have to accept the harsher realities of existence, that life doesn’t always give you a choice.
In an attempt to be candid, I lost my job and apartment in one swift movement while living in New York. At the time, such uprooting was devastating — emotionally, mentally and financially — making my already mixed feelings about New York intensely magnify. In fact, for the entirety of my time in New York, I had feelings of wanting to move back to Europe. So, when the space opened up to make a change, I ran with the fate of the universe — back home to rebuild my life and prepare for a move back to France.
I lived in my childhood home, in my old room from February to June — 5 months of shelter, comfort and picking up the pieces of my disheveled experience. And even though I wasn’t thrilled — an independent creature by nature, asking for help and giving up control is a challenge in itself — I knew it was the right decision to reach my next goal. With my attempts to swallow my pride and recognize the need to take a neccessary pause, it just so happened that my resistance and discomfort turned out to be a lesson in adulthood.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
What I find often to be true is that many of us are afraid to ask for help, in fear that we may be perceived as weak or unsuccessful. I had always been the type of person who was ready and eager to take on the challenges of the world — with so much passion and excitement that I placed an unrealistic amount of pressure on myself to thrive and succeed.
I had hardly begun to realize how hard life can really be those first few years out of school. We spend years in a sheltered environment, surrounded by positive affirmations and support in our future endeavors. Molded and concocted to be these adults that feel confident to take on the next step into career and livelihood. Yet, what no one tells you is that sometimes the jump toward a career isn’t so swift and quick. In some cases, you find that choosing a slower, alternate route helps you to figure out your end goal.
In this case, I had little to no idea how I had wanted to live my life after college — and spoiler alert, I still am missing some definitive pieces. But not knowing what I ultimately want isn’t the problem — it’s that I thought I had to go through the struggles alone. Independence became a shield from allowing any form of help to surface and I was ashamed to admit that I needed guidance.
We need to place our pride to the side and realize that asking for help is healthy and normal — there are some things in life that no matter the persistence we have, are unachievable when completely alone.
Having Your Shit Together at 24 Isn’t Realistic
I want to shatter this whole illusion that being an adult means having all your pretty little ducks in a row. In fact, being an adult is a draining experience. When we’re young, we seem to look toward the years of being older, more mature and grown up, but omit the effects that come with such independence.
Being in your 20s in a time where you think you know it all and realize you know very little. You have youth on your side, but are constantly plagued with the questions of who you are and what you want to do with your life. You are in a tumultuous state of self doubt and self inflicted stress.
Knowing this, we are now more than ever in a rush, hurried to succeed and thrive in all aspects of our lives. Blame it on the social networks and overconsumption of everyone’s daily movements, but our pressure for success makes us feel like failures if we haven’t reached benchmarks by a certain age.
It is not realistic or healthy to think that I would have everything figured out at 24. Yes, some people succeed and thrive young — but most take time to formulate the person and professional they aim to be. We have to stop looking at age as a measure of our successes, but rather choose to embrace the messiness that is our 20s.
We Have to Appreciate the People Who Let Us In When We Need Them
If I learned anything from living back home, it’s that I was lucky and fortunate to have a place to go home to. I have parents and family that care about me in a way that their support of my future is what fueled my motivation to start over. Even when my dreams are to move away to a foreign country, they gave me a place to live, food to eat and the comfort I needed to rebuild my emotional state.
We too often disregard the ones who really care for us in our journey to find our individual self. Although we should aim to be independent and find our own path, we can never forget the people who have instilled the confidence and support in us to achieve.
Even when it’s hard, asking for help and swallowing your pride teaches you a lesson in the importance of appreciation and humility. When finding myself in such a predicament, going home was the only solution. As much as I felt the need to assert my adulthood, claim back my pride and heal my self-esteem; I could have never recovered had I not taken the time to pause, recharge and reset my focus toward a new goal.
In our attempts to be mature, self-sufficient adults, we have to realize that the world can be a rough and daunting place. More often than not, we are unprepared for the true breadth of growing up that takes place within the first few years post-college.
And even though it may seem less than favorable to return to our roots, we have to remember where we came from and to value the people who take us in when the going gets rough. At any moment, you can choose to change and rebuild your life —realizing that no matter what you’ve endured, it can be so beautiful to start again.