My boyfriend and I broke up about 3 weeks ago, a long, private story that I’m not going to dissect on the internet. But I’m sitting in the rubble of a different future than I imagined. This is the hardest part of parting ways with someone so vital to your everyday life- realizing how much you’d built around them. I realize now I was using my boyfriend as an excuse to keep myself small because I was afraid of rocking the boat. I was content in a life where I wasn’t happy because I didn’t want to lose him. I only applied to one grad school because it was close and I didn’t want the pressure of long distance again. I didn’t get in. I moved to the city he worked in even though I hate cities and traffic and smog and flat land. He didn’t ask me to do these things, but now I’m left without much to stand on. I was naïve, but now I have to build a new future whether I like it or not.
On a trip to the mountains with my parents last weekend, they suggested I move back in with them rent-free. Saving for my future is a very tempting proposition; I’ve felt very stagnant, living paycheck-to-paycheck with the reality of food and rent and doctor’s visits eating up what I make working at a local paper. My commute would be about the same as from the city, and I’d have flexibility because a year-long lease wouldn’t tie me down. Considering all of this, I did what any self-respecting millennial would do and Googled “moving back in with your parents” and found a few survival guides. Even this New York Times article defends what media is calling “boomerang kids” because moving back in with your parents for a bit while you save money is a pretty economically sound decision. Okay, Internet, you’ve convinced me. I’m going to move back in with my parents.
Today, I started clearing out my childhood bedroom. A room that hasn’t been cleaned since I moved out at 18 (and let’s be real, I didn’t clean it much before then, either). A room with a dusty bookcase overflowing with books and a dresser with 10 year old cosmetics all along its surface. A room with a twin-sized bed and clothes I’ve had since elementary school. A room I’ll be living in two weekends from now.
I’m so scared to move home. Have I failed? Who knows. What I do know is this house has seen the best and worst of me, and now it’s going to be a resting place for a while until I get my bearings. It’s about time I wiped up the dust. I can’t hang onto the past, so I’m clearing out.