The other day, I walked into Home Depot with a mission. A mission to find a soft, neutral color that would match the awkward black trim of…my parents’ basement.
That’s right. One month ago, I moved back home. And now, I’m sitting here with my dear mother at our kitchen counter in full on PJ-wear at noon, playing Words with Friends, browsing Pinterest and drinking coffee (because she’s my new roommate). And let me tell you, it’s not a bad thing. I’d be doing the same kind of useless things with my old roommates.
The thing is, moving home was NEVER in my post-college plan. I wanted to rent a cute little apartment in the cute little neighborhood in the outskirts of the city where all of the cute, buzzing coffee shops and bistros nest. I wanted to own a cute tabby cat and name it Cat (just like Audrey Hepburn) and decorate with a cute shabby chic twist so I could drink my coffee every morning amidst thick pink blankets and a crystal chandelier. [Editor’s Note: This sounds really cute.]
And then, there I was — grabbing a four inch paint brush from a rusty hook at Home Depot and spending $100 to fulfill some kind of freaky independence (AKA designing my new apartment in my parents’ basement, 40 brisk miles away from city life). But I’m here to tell you something and make everyone who’s moving home feel very fabulous about their decision. The trickle effect that got me here was a proud one. I would not trade anything to be living on my own and struggling desperately. Any 24-year-old that lives at home will tell you that (and there are A LOT).
Once I switched my career goals, bumped down my yearly salary and gained a new perspective on life, things became a little more complicated. And then those college loans started flooding in like the plague (living on my own made me insanely independent but I was also insanely poor.) Everyone began convincing me to move home for “only a short period of time,” to save money and keep a sane mind. I didn’t listen to them at first, completely blown away by the fact that I’d actually live in the presence of my parents at a ripe young age. What about my social life? What about sipping coffee while I roamed down the city streets on a Saturday afternoon? What about dating? I was convinced all of that would diminish the minute I moved home. Diminish into a cloud of unrealistic dust.
After a while spent churning it over in my mind, I decided I could be smart about all of this. Moving home really was the best decision. I wanted to save up for a desk top so I could get serious about my writing. I wanted a lot of extra money to put towards dreamy expenses (yes, including that neon button up from J.Crew). I wanted to live comfortably while paying for loans. Since I’m a flight attendant, I wanted that extra moo-lah to jump on a plane and jet-set to California whenever I pleased. I wanted to breath easily, instead of worrying about if I could pay my next electric bill. And I DID NOT want to live in my parent’s basement come thirty years of age. This was the best time to swallow up my pride and puff up my chest in satisfaction that I’d made the right choice.
Now that I’ve been at home for a month, I know I have made the right decision. It’s a little demeaning from time to time (especially when a guy asks you where you live). But in retrospect, if he’s trying to hook up with you (and you’re having none of it), saying you live at home is a pretty good horny man repellent. That being said, I have vowed to look at the positive in all of this. I get to spend a ton of time with my family, I have a lot of time to work out and paint my nails (instead of being pressured into a late night happy hour with friends) and mama’s cooking is actually a heavenly dream.
So right after college, if you’re feeling a little tight on money — like you’re trying to squeeze into an old dress from your days of middle school dances — moving home really is not that bad. A lot of people are doing it right out of college! Living at home is not something to be ashamed of. You will be patting yourself on the back when your apartment in the city is fully equipped with everything you can afford…in a few years that is.