In the last eight years, I have packed up my belongings nine times to move them to a different place. No one hates packing and moving and unpacking more than I do, but I do it so often I should consider it a hobby or an annual celebration of the change of my address. I don’t even know why I bother unpacking, and I especially don’t know why I spend hours cramming all my clothes into boxes and bins when I know full well that 90% of them don’t fit me anymore. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. At least 85% of them don’t fit me anymore.
In my adult life, I’ve lived in four cities in three states. I’ve moved to start jobs and go back to school and have adventures. Those are the fun ones. I’ve also had to move back in with my parents multiple times. They’ve always been gracious enough to make room for me whenever I’ve needed a place to stay during interim periods, and that’s exactly where I am now: in the interim. In my parents’ house.
I’ve described this move as embarrassing. “Oh, don’t worry about it,” people have said. “There’s no shame in that!” they’ve told me. These people with their own apartments and houses with yards and grills on the patio. You know the type. With their matching home decor and driveways. I usually just kind of smile and say how grateful I am that my parents take pity on me and then try to change the subject. Don’t tell my parents, but moving back in with them was kind of the last thing I wanted to do. Call it pride. Call it stubbornness. But after months of searching for a new place to live, it was more than just slightly anticlimactic to end up here.
The reasons why I’m here are many and varied, but most pressing is that at the end of the month, my job is being eliminated. And in a new unfortunate plot twist: I really need a new car. So instead of getting my own place in the midst of all this financial uncertainty, I accepted my parents’ offer to come back and live in my high school bedroom for as long as I need to. So here I am, surrounded by all of my unpacked bins and boxes and piles of clothes, in my little upstairs room that used to be covered wall-to-wall with Hanson posters at the peak of my coolness. It’s weird and messy and, well, embarrassing.
But we all have to accept help sometimes, right? So what if I’m 30 years old and living with my parents. I get to eat so much free food, and I have zero utility bills. Zero! My dad greets me with “Good morning, schweetie!” every time I stumble out of my room in the morning, and he tells me multiple times a day how happy he is to have me here. My mom cooks lots of delicious food and DVRs my favorite shows for me, which I get to watch on a humongous TV that’s probably worth more than all of the earthly possessions I have crammed into my new storage unit combined. How do you feel about that, people with bed frames and enough light bulbs for all your lamps? Jealous now?
I don’t know how long I’ll be here before move number ten comes around. My prayer has been for patience and positivity. With the job situation. With living in a space that’s no longer mine. With saving money for a new car. The interim is such an awkward place to be, but I am learning to lean into it, burrowing a cozy little spot just for me, and embracing the time in between.