I moved out of my parents’ house nearly ten years ago. I still can’t believe it. At the time, I didn’t think I would manage it. I just didn’t feel like I could be out there on my own or even survive with a roommate. But when I was 23 (yep, 23!) I decided it was time and I moved out with a friend of mine from high school that I loved like a sister.
Big mistake. It completely ruined our friendship. Completely. Ruined. Though after things dissolved and I moved out of that house, I moved in with two other roommates in a more typical college situation, and that went much better for the most part. I think at some point we still got on each other’s nerves, but we’re still all friends.
Now here I am, nearly ten years later. I’m 32, living with the boyfriend and two cats, and we’ve just moved into a two bedroom apartment. For the first time ever, I have an extra room to put my desk and my computers. (Talk about separation anxiety! Let’s not talk about how many computers I have– that’s a blog of its own.)
For the first time ever, I feel like an adult. It’s only begun to hit me now that I didn’t completely fail. No going home to my parents yet– though it’s nice to know I have that option in case times get too tough.
This year, I’ve been redoing things around the house. My boyfriend and I picked up a new sofa, and we’re looking at a new TV stand. I’m actually trying to figure out how to make things functional and presentable. That’s new for me. I’ve always settled for functional and then never invited anyone but close friends over.
But it’s not just things around the house we’re changing. We’re also eating at home more often. J gets sick if he eats boxed foods, so we have to start our cooking with raw material and cheat from there. (I find a lot of simple recipes and marinades.) We’ve also cut out soda completely. Unless we eat out. We both drink a lot more water, and I drink milk in place of the more sugary drinks.
These changes are more symbolic I think. I’m not doing them in a hope to alter how I think, I’m doing them because how I think has already been altered. I’ve always lived day to day, taking things as they come, but now I’m starting to plan ahead. Not crazy far, but enough that I can decide a course of action and go after it. I think that’s what I really mean by “feeling like an adult.” It’s the idea that I’m not just stuck with things as they are. I’ve always known this, but now it’s been tested. If there is something I want that I feel is worthwhile, I can figure out a way to make it happen.