Moving home stings.
Despite the well-meaning assurances that it isn’t a loss, despite countless peers my age or older opting likewise — I feel like I’ve returned from a long journey having only brought back dirtier clothes.
Although I’ve already been living home for the better part of six months, the official process of stacking boxes and indefinitely settling into my old bedroom felt soberingly glum.
At this point, mornings have become almost ritualistic.
Wake up and stare unblinkingly at the ceiling, avoiding eye contact with the mirror and evading the other me who’d likely judge both my circumstance and such self loathing.
Then dazedly panicking about being late for the bus. I don’t know if that is something I will ever reconcile with.
This isn’t supposed to happen. Then again, what was?
In what has been a disastrous start to the roaring 20s, the future looks bleak for us zoomers and millennials.
- College tuition remains high while the value of university seems more dubious each passing day.
- The growing chasm between skilled workers and available jobs is stark.
- A shortage of affordable housing is glaring now more than ever.
- Worst yet, 52% of young Americans live with their parents.
The impossible sierra of problems that’s mounted appears to be somehow growing.
And of those problems, and many others I failed to mention, the personal one for me is returning back to the cuckoo’s nest. The pangs of defeat and cloying embrace of familial dependence are haunting.
After being told by friends, family, society that the goal is trailblazing towards full autonomy, the bar to do so feels almost impossibly high now.
The high-peddled narrative is to escape the grip of parental reliance and to become your own person. To only return when you’ve made a name for yourself and achieved wild success that inoculates you from anything — maybe even a pandemic.
But when the drips of morphine-fueled optimism trickle to a stop, reality sets in that maybe you’re in a similar situation to a lot of people. People who likewise bought into the notion of an American ideal but were never really given the tools to achieve them, besides a diluted degree.
Shiftless pity aside — perhaps moving home isn’t as demoralizing as it may feel, but a pitstop in an otherwise winding journey that requires these kinds of brief moments of pause and self reflection.
Maybe I need that narrative to be true. Maybe that’s okay because a spark of narrative is needed for this year to make sense.
What little solace I can find in this moment is that like everyone else, we are still in this together. And as the axis of the world refuses to spin forward, we remain in this uncertain vacuum together and, hopefully, we’ll all regain footing if we’re ever able to taste the sweet reprieve of a vaccine.
Until that day, how about you start Xing out the calendar while I get reacquainted with my roommates.