Don’t leave your childhood home on a bad note. There is some stigma around living at home after a certain age – let’s call it 18. This is a first world problem. My family in the Philippines knows that it is typical for 2 or 3 generations of a family to live together in a modest home. It is simply more economical to pull together the income of 3 generations to pay one rent, instead of 3 separate rents – plus groceries, bills, emergencies, etc. There is a certain grounding that comes from being with family. For the purposes of this article I’ll use the term “parents” to describe whichever family members you would associate with “living at home.” I moved back home 2 months ago in order to create healthy physical boundaries with my boyfriend, who I love but whom I moved in with too naively. That was my story, but many life circumstances bring you back to the start for a reason. These are the 3 lessons I’ve learned thus far.
Relationships with parents are different as you get older.
They now trust you to juggle all your responsibilities on your own time schedule. They trust you to maneuver the rules of the road. They trust you not to die. And if they don’t, then you probably don’t have an honest relationship with them and you need to have a serious sit-down conversation about who you really are and what kind of resentment you harbor towards them. Either that, or perhaps you feel some sort of shame about your lifestyle that you need to contemplate in your own meditation. Now, assuming you do have a communicating relationship with your parents, living together when you’re older means you get to know them in an entirely new light from when you were a kid. They can open up to you about their past and their innermost thoughts because they understand that you have a higher capacity of wisdom now. And this reciprocates. You can also have more meaningful conversations with them and invite them into your life. It is a beautiful thing to get to know who someone really is, faults and all. As well, it is a blissful freedom to share your true self. Not only will you get to know your family better, but …
You get to know yourself better.
Your family history is important. Family lineage and your position within it may not have been on your mind growing up, but with time we become more aware of and increasingly curious as to the significance of our root system. You were brought into this world at the perfect time and place. Everything your ancestors worked for was to bring you about. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. My grandfather told me recently about how he considered not moving to the United States from the Philippines in the late 1960’s. How different my life would have been if that were the case. By different, I mean nonexistent.
You realize how fleeting life is.
I went for a run the other day for the first time in a long time. In high school, I would run at least once a week on a nice day – for physical fitness, to clear my head, to get a tan, whatever the reason was. Now that I’m back running in my old neighborhood, I observe how the neighborhood is not the same. I can’t just knock on the doors of my friends’ houses because my friends don’t live there anymore. I know from social media that people I went to school with moved to different cities, different states, and many to different continents. I thought to myself, All those people I was worried about impressing back then are no longer relevant! … Empowering.
I guess what I’m trying to say is…
When you are interacting on a daily basis, you learn to value your family because you will not live there forever and they will not be here on this earth forever. Acts as simple as watching TV together become special moments of fellowship. Our relationships with our parents are the foundations of our views on love and life. Be conscious of the reason you want to leave. Don’t leave home on a bad note. Fix that relationship first; you’ll be incomplete until you do so. Don’t rush to leave because it seems like everyone else is doing it. Everyone’s pace is different. Don’t leave because you yearn for freedom. Make sure your root system of support, morals, love, and duty is deep before heading into the chaos of the world, lest you be blown away with the dust. For you were called to freedom. But do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13
As always, please comment or email me if this is a sensitive topic that you are going through in your own life. Happy to talk.