We are expected to answer many questions at this point in our lives, where we want to live, who we want to live with, how will we keep our homes, and how will we treat our sexual partners, are just a few of the things we are expected to establish.
Answering these questions as young adults is part of the way in which we shape the rest of our lives. This ranges from who we want to spend the rest of our lives with, where we want to spend the rest of ours lives, and what the hell we intend on doing. Now, I'm definitely a few steps behind many, the struggle I go through choosing my food at a restaurant, is a clear reflection of the uncertainty of my future - I just really don't have a fucking clue what's right for me, or I'm doing and I can seem to find the words to answer any of these big questions. In the pure hope that I'm not the only one with a feeling lost at this uncertain at the period in my life, I've decided to make a blog series on this quarter life crisis I seem to be experiencing. Maybe writing about it will help me or somebody reading to figure out, what the fuck the next step is.
Today, I wanted to talk about when you're little behind on your 'become a real adult list'
I've recently left my job because I felt as though I was walking down the wrong path (more on that in another post). Given my current job situation (or lack of). I'm sure you've grasped by now, I'm not doing a great job of 'adulting' so far. Still living at home with my Mum and older sister (it makes me feel slightly better that I'm not the only one at home, although my sister has a very success career, and I'm definitely lagging behind her). I am not where I imagined being at 24 - I'd hoped to be taking over the world in some way, which becomes little tricky when I realise the world stretches far beyond of the walls of my Mothers house, and that sort of terrifies me. Since I have not been working 8-6 (I promise I will stop banging on about leaving my job soon) as I've always done since finishing University, I'm spending more time at home, in my Mum's house, in the middle of nowhere, and I have been spending more time with my mum who works mornings and is mobile, and oh my god, being home more, has made me realise, why it's natural to have moved out of your family home at this stage in your life, if not slightly earlier.
Of course, there is no denying there is a lot of privilege to it - I pay very little for rent, I have meals cooked for me, and my clothes washed - my responsibilities are pretty low, which initially sounds great, until you think, but then again isn't part of growing up, responsibility? Surely that should be part of my life by now, I should be able to take pride in looking after myself, and keeping my own home. I know they aren't the most fun things, but they're the things which adults do, and I'm an adult, right? Having lived in a different city for three years whilst I was at Uni, I kinda found my own way of doing things, and sometimes it's nice to make things your own.
There are several aspects of ordinary life, which become harder to navigate when you're still living with your Mummy. When it comes to dating, which I'm really not doing much (well, any!) of, it's a little awkward when you're still living in the family home. I mean, it's not an issue to me until I get back into the dating world, but I'm feeling a little more anxious for when I do get there. At this age, the lines of dating are so so much more blurred, and you kind of wanna figure things out before you have to introduce your partner to parents, whatever he/she might be to you, becomes a question which can not longer go so quite so unanswered, when family introduction are necessary... "hey mum I met this girl on tinder, we don't really know what this is, I mean we've been on a couple of dates and things might become something but they might not, yeah we're going to hang out my tiny bedroom with my single bed" Ahh, it definitely adds more confusion and pressure for a label when you might just be happy to go with the flow.
Living at home definitely, comes with a pure lack of privacy. I am constantly asked where I going, and what I'm doing - I'll be honest it's never anywhere interesting, but I can't help but think, what if wanted to do something I didn't feel ready to talk about yet? I'd feel a need to tell my mum where I'd been, I'd have to justify leaving the house, rather than just walking out, and closing the door behind me. It is not that I'm doing anything secretive, there's nothing private about anything I do, but I just think the opportunity to keep things to myself would be great. There's doesn't need to be a discussion every time I put on a darker lipstick as if I'm off to seduce the world when I'm popping to Co-Op because I've run out of tampons. I don't care if my skirt's a little short, and you don't need to know where I'm wearing it really, do you? It's not that I mind sharing this stuff, but sometimes it feels a little like I'm under police watch.
I have a lot of male friends, I get along with guys as much I do with girls, yet still, if I mention the name of somebody who might have a penis, I get family members asking questions. "Is he a friend, or a 'friend?'" "Do you fancy him, Clo?" The fact is even if I did fancy him I'd probably just say to you, "hey I fancy Pete" (maybe), and if I'm not telling you, it's most likely because I don't want you to know. I know this happens when you don't live at home, but if this we happening at a much less frequent rate, that would be great. Having guy friends around to hang out is just a tad annoying, in fact, having anyone over to hang out is annoying when your house is constantly filled with people (my sister has a lot of friends, so does my mums boyfriend), and your bedroom barely fits all of your furniture, let alone a group of young adult. My bedroom really isn't ideal for hosting events with more than 2 attendees, and but there are always people the rest of the house that you feel as though you're getting in the way of.
Alongside the how living at home makes you feel while being at home, they're a whole new realm of feelings you experience about living at home when you're not at home. I sense patronising tone from people when I tell them I live with my mum still. I'm sure 90% of the time, this comes from my imagination, I did not expect to be living at home at this point in my life, so I feel my own shame reflecting in how others talk to me. However, still, I sense this she-needs-to-grow-up tone, a she-can't-look-after-herself, everything's-handed-to-her-on-a-plate-by-mummy tone. It just doesn't make me feel all that proud of myself.
I have been extremely lucky with my family life, I'm not going to lie, some shitty things have happened, as they do - but I've not grown up in a household where arguments are the norm and bad feeling surround people. We all get along, and rarely argue - in fact, I don't think I ever really remember arguing with my mum, I remember a lot of tantrums from when I was younger (because 6 year olds have tantrums for time to time), but never arguments or bad feelings. I am very lucky, as I've gotten older, I've realised it's actually very rare to live in such a chilled out home. I am also very sensitive, maybe this is a direct result of not being subjected to arguments and or much negativity growing up. When you spend a lot of time with people it's hard to keep your emotions from them. I'm finding this works both ways living at home. My sister could have a bad day at work, and take it out my me, usually by saying something completely meaningless but I'll find myself over analysing and upsetting myself. Alongside this, it's also challenging to not let your bad mood show to others. My mum is practically a saint and I appreciated every little thing she does for me - but I still have bad days, and it's difficult to make sure I'm the only one in the house my bad day affects, simply because she close, and it's hard to hide from who you're close to.
I understand with anybody I live with, whether family or not, moods, feelings and vibes will rub off on each other, however, it cuts a little deeper when it's your family, and I'm definitely over sensitive to things to do with my family, as we all get along when we don't it's a big deal - also sometimes I just want to deal with my shit myself, and if I'm not talking about something I'm feeling to my mum, it's probably reflecting in my mood nonetheless, and then I'm just being shitty to mum for nothing.
I'm am introvert at heart, and mainly like to be alone, this isn't the case for every member of my family, and I think sometimes they do not understand I'm up in my bedroom because I need my space to recharge, not because I don't want to hang out with them, I simply as I appreciate the quite my bedroom offers.
Just sometimes you need space from these people to deal with your shit, and an outlet to express feelings that may seem unselfish and ungrateful but are just honest and human, so I hope that's what I've done here. As I said, I appreciate that I have the option to live with my mum and all the things she does for me, but at this funny stage of life, it's another question unanswered, the feeling of a step backwards and a lack of expected freedom.