Okay here’s the thing. When I was a senior in college, my brother was a freshman. When I graduated and came back for the summer, he finished his first year and… got a summer job in the state he was going to school that was relevant to his Rangeland Management major. At one point that summer, my mother turned to me and blithely said, “I always thought you would be the one to leave the nest first.”
That stung. And I have worked very, very hard to shoehorn my very general Liberal Arts degree into a career track, save up, and move out with my partner. I have a job that I really, really like up here now. But at the moment, what I don’t have is a place to live that isn’t two hours away from where I work, and this weekend I had to tell my parents.
It’s hard to admit to people who expect better of you that you’re not succeeding, especially when you half expect that they’ll comment on that fact.
Fortunately it turned out alright. They’re of town for a while and I’m borrowing/part-time sleeping in my mom’s minivan, and even though none of my problems have really resolved themselves yet I feel a lot better.
My advice to anyone going through anything remotely similar is as follows…
This is not even about slowing down and appreciating life. This is the literal fact that if you take slow, deep breaths it will slow your heart rate and help you calm down.
If the results of certain decisions are going awkward or unpleasant to live with, at least be sure you’re the one making them. If you more or less know your priorities it will be easier to tell when things are (or aren’t) being done on your terms.
It’s easier to go to parents with a well thought out, reasonable plan than just showing up and generally asking for help. Also, having a good plan allows you to feel like the fabled “Real Adult” and will give you a nice confidence boost.
See guidelines #2 and #3. Heck, see all of them. I’m living in a van and showering every three days right now in order to go to work. I haven’t seen my partner, our dog, or our kitten in days. You do what you’ve gotta do.
Stay positive. This is like the breathing thing. Personally, I write down my gratitudes every day. Sometimes they’re as simple as “I do not have fleas” and that’s fine, as long as I can think of something.
That’s all I’ve got.