Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lessons from a modern statistic

Gratuitous photo of delicious crepes.

This article is from 2001, which is relatively old. Yet it still applies on some level. I am one of those statistics that returned to my parent's house after college - with a stint in the middle of teaching in China.

I have no shame or stigma in moving back with the parental units. I am thankful for family, and a home base that welcomes me. And there's a certain comfort in knowing some things never change. There are definite pros and cons to this lifestyle, as with all things.

Pros: a) Even though I voluntarily help out with household expenses, I don't pay rent. My parents are not the type of people to make their grown offspring pay rent for living at home, for which I'm thankful. b) Living in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, it's nice to know someone expects me home at some point. c) My parents are transitioning too - from middle age to senior citizens - and they haven't gotten into the groove of it just yet. It's just the right thing to do, in terms of what I value.

Cons: a) OHMYFREAKINGPOOCOW is it difficult! I can't say I don't have freedom, because I do. I can't say I'm not independent, because I am. There is just a generational/educational gap that isn't reconciled - and will never be as long as I stay in such close proximity to them. b) I haven't grown as much as I had hoped. Probably because living with my parents doesn't afford a grounded sense of belonging, of being the king of my own castle.

Needless to say, it's time I flew the coop. Again. Thus, I'm reflecting on certain things I've learned while living with my parents as an adult that I'm glad I know now:

Lesson #1: Getting old is rough. It's not nice to be shunted aside by society. Take care of older folks - as much as I can manage without losing my sanity anyhow.

Lesson #2: I've developed a firm grasp of what I would like my own home to be like. This has been one of those lessons best learned through contradictions. As in, "Oh good lord, I would NEVER have that in MY house."

Lesson #3: Not paying rent has afforded me a bit more disposable income than otherwise. Still, leaning towards frugality is wiser. Second still, it's ok to relax and spend some on fun once in a while.

Lesson #4: Having practiced an arsenal of housekeeping/gardening/car-home maintenance skills is a plus for me, always and forever.

Lesson #5: When things get to be too much, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. As it's already established that I can come back whenever I want, it's ok to go and leave as needed/wanted. My parents need their space just as much as I need mine.

Here's to my last summer under my parent's roof! Hopefully.

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