Monday, August 10, 2009

Refilling the Nest

Here's the way life is supposed to go: You're born. You learn to crawl, walk, talk a play dollies. You go to school everyday for the next twelve years until you graduate from high school. Then you go to college, and after four years there you graduate with an entry-level job all lined up. This marks the beginning of your truly adult life. If you didn't when you started college, you move all your stuff out of your parent's house and you find a place of your own.

Unless, of course, you graduate without a job and can't afford a place of your own otherwise. Then you move back in with your parents (if they let you), and you find yourself in limbo. You're in your twenties, you should be an adult, but you sleep in your childhood bed, surrounded by the stuffed animals you used to require. You can redecorate and pack up everything you don't need (sorry, Teddy), but the fact still remains, you are living at home.

Of course living rent-free (or at the family rate) has it's advantages, but there's only so long you can do this before you start to feel like a 30-something comic book collector who speaks Klingon and lives in their mother's basement (not that there's anything wrong with that). What exactly is the deadline? I used to think I would only be home long enough to apartment or house hunt and get everything organized. Now I'm entering my third month, and I'm nowhere near a the real estate phase of my life. I asked a few friends before graduation what my acceptable home-living limit was. I was given a year or two. Am I really an adult if I live at home?

Another factor which should not be underestimated is the tension of finding yourself once more under your parent's roof. No matter how much you love each other, or how PG your life is, your parents never expected you back and you wish you had your own place to call your own. It stunts your growth, or at least it feels that way. You feel like you're a mature adult, but you look in the mirror and see the same teenager that went off to college. And how far have you really come? It's hard to believe that you are in fact a different person with a wealth experiences who would probably go through high school much differently now (but please, God, don't make me prove it).

So what can we do when we chicks must return to the nest? Do the dishes and the laundry, be grateful your parents still want you, and live in hope. And maybe avoid the Star Trek reruns, just to be safe.

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