Growing up is a funny thing. I remember being twelve and itching to be thirteen. I remember being seventeen and counting down the minutes until I was eighteen. An “adult.” I remember being twenty and waking up on my twenty-first birthday and thinking to myself, “This is the year I’m supposed to have it all together.”
Here I sit at twenty-four, not anxiously awaiting twenty-five despite the pattern of my previous years, and still wondering if I have it all together.
But I’m getting there.
When we’re younger, we’re constantly in pursuit of something, whether its simply advancing to the next grade or checking off one more semester in your college undergrad.
Just three more semesters until I have my degree, and then I’ll be an adult.
Unfortunately, in this country and in this day and age, obtaining a bachelor’s degree doesn’t help you achieve much, and it especially doesn’t help you achieve adulthood. If anything, it makes you feel even more vulnerable than ever, oftentimes forcing you to retreat back to your childhood home simply because you cannot make it on your own.
Not yet anyway.
Some people are lucky post-graduation and find themselves sitting pretty at their dream jobs. Some people are born into success. Some people find it on their own. Some people never reach that level of adulthood that we associate with being successful and that, to them, is success.
One of my biggest fears was having to move back home post-graduation, because for whatever reason, in my mind, that meant I failed. If I wasn’t able to provide for myself the day after I graduated, I failed. It’s funny, that mindset I had, because 1) I was a theatre major, so unless some huge Broadway show picked me up straight out of college, I wasn’t going to be buying a house anytime soon and 2) I was still a baby when I walked across that stage and received my degree. I was still a baby.
In the grand scheme of things, I still am. And that’s okay.
In an effort to never have to move back home, I prematurely moved in with my boyfriend at the time, which worked for a year or so, until it didn’t. Advice: think long and hard before moving in with your significant other before you do it. Don’t make the same mistake I did of feeling forced or as if going home is a sign of failure. It isn’t.
Long story short, we broke up, moved apart, and I ended up moving home.
Moving home killed me at first. I was so upset with myself that I was twenty-two and not living on my own. I refused to accept it for the longest time, until one day I just did. It made it easier.
Side note: I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity and the loving family I have to always have the door open for me whenever I needed it. I truly have the best family.
I’ve always been independent. Annoyingly so, I’ll admit. I was raised to do things for myself and not to depend on anyone for my own success, happiness, well-being, etc. My mom ingrained that in me, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It makes it difficult for me to accept help at times. It makes it difficult for me to accept partnership. It just makes it difficult, it being life.
I’m learning, though. It’s a process.
I’m back to living on my own. I have a roommate. I’m paying bills. I’m cursing at life because it’s so hard, but embracing it because it’s also so good.
See, there’s nothing wrong with accepting help when you need it. There’s nothing wrong with walking through a door that’s being held open by someone else, literally or metaphorically. There’s nothing wrong with partnership. And there’s nothing wrong with going home.
Wherever your home may be.
Whether it’s the home in which you grew up.
Whether it’s the home you’ve built for yourself right out of college at age twenty-one, with nothing to your name but student loan debt and your bachelor’s degree.
Whether it’s the home you’ve found in someone else.
In a partner.
The partnership that you avoided for so many years because you viewed it as weakness.
That could be your home, and you’d never even know it.
Find your home.
It’s waiting for you, and it doesn’t matter if it’s back in your hometown or 4,000 miles away overseas. It’s waiting for you.
And going back there is okay.