There. I said it. Now we can all move on with our lives.
Hi, my name is Timi. I’m a 23 year old teacher, and I live with my parents.
…You still there? What, no laughter? No judgment? Oh, that’s right. I’m in the same position as 85% of young Americans. I’m not ashamed of it anymore, but I once was.
When I first moved back to my hometown for work, I was dragging my feet the entire way. I love my family, and I’d missed them while I was gone, but I was not ready to co-habitate with them again. Honestly, I had lived by myself for the past year and enjoyed the opportunity to live in solitude and do whatever I pleased. So to me, moving back home initially seemed like a tying a leash around my neck. Dramatic, I know.
Ugh. Houston…not even Houston but the suburbs, where boredom is manufactured. I’m not exactly sure why I disliked Houston so much. All I knew is that it wasn’t Austin. When I’d lived in Houston, the main places I drove to were school, the grocery store, and church: all were within 30 minutes of my house. I never truly explored Houston. I saw it as a bland place. My neighborhood was especially high on the Womp list. I wasn’t feeling it period.
To make matters worse, for a while I was living in the same room that I’d been in as a kid. It was like I was falling back into the role of submissive child although I worked 4 years trying to prove I was a grown woman. With my restlessness and constant need to prove myself, I knew living at home would be a challenge for me. We’d had some great memories in that house….when I was younger. In a way, coming back home meant the risk that I, or someone in the family, would do something to overshadow those good memories we had together.
Plus (this is the part few of us Couch Dwellers have the guts to tell our parents), for the past four years, I’d been doing whatever I wanted. The mere thought of a curfew (among some other restrictions enforced during my teenage years) made me feel like I was on lock-down. I was coming home with two Bachelors degrees to show for my four years at the University of Texas at Austin, but I had an 11pm curfew. My mother would say “what business do children of God have on the streets after 12 anyway?” I’m not sure how my maturation process had paused and looped back to high school, but I was frustrated and disappointed with my situation. My adulthood plan wasn’t going like I’d expected. I wasn’t in a corner office with my name on the placard, with a nice apartment in a fast city, with a fine God-fearing man by my side. No, none of that. I was at home, bored and stressed out because of work. I thought I’d done it wrong–moved back prematurely. I’d wanted to come back home as something big. But here I was in the same house, at the same church, falling into the same homebody routine I had back in high school.
But thank God for giving me parents who know me well. My family recognized that college had changed me into an individual with her own preferences and need for adventure. They understood my need to go out and socialize with friends but at the same time they still made me adhere to family rules. It was a tricky balance.
Honestly, I wasn’t paying rent so I didn’t have much room to argue with the “as long as you’re under my roof” bit. Yes, there were times when I’d want to yell in my ratchet girl voice “I ain’t got time for this! I’m too grown!” but there were also times when my family had my back when I was facing trials. They were my support system, my life advice experts (thanks Ges!) my laughs on the long drive back home (thanks Ney!), my nuggets of wisdom (thanks Dad!), my listening ear (thanks Dee!), my smoothie in the morning (thanks Mom!)
For the longest time, I’d been trying to elevate myself to grown woman status. Living at home was not in my plans. Initially, I was embarrassed when I had to excuse myself from a party that had just begun because I had to hurry home before 12am. Then I quickly realized that among my groups of friends, I wasn’t totally alone. Some had also chosen to stay at home so they could save money, be comfortable, and still enjoy the finer things in life (techie gadget, lavish vacations, and designer labels). Others, like me were just trying to pay back student loans. I’m very fortunate that my parents didn’t make me pay them rent, as I’ve heard some parents do. My family seems to genuinely want me around, which makes everything exponentially more bearable, if not enjoyable.
There was a lot of give and take this year, but after isn’t that what family is about? Despite the ups and downs, I can say that I learned invaluable lessons from living at home for a year. More so than during my four years in college, in this one year, I have learned more about responsibilities, loving people, and being mature than I could have imagined.
- lived with my family in peace
- saved a ton of money (no bills, TX)
- started paying my tithes
- started paying off my loans
- found unique adventures
- laughed at myself
- made time for my friends
- started a new blog
- learned how to lead
- discovered more about myself and my family
- learned to rely on God
visit Timi’s blog Naturale Chronicles