One of the great things about getting older is that you are more confident in who you are as a person and the desire to prove yourself seems to diminish. I just remember growing up I so (and I should capitalize that for emphasis) SO desired to be seen as normal. My therapist would say that because I grew up in such a chaotic home (due to alcoholism and poverty) that my desire to be normal stemmed there. I wanted so bad to change what was happening in my home that I sought to be perfect to fool outsiders.
In growing up, I have finally accepted that normal doesn’t exist.
As I have gotten older, especially once I started attending college some friends would make comments about when I was going to move out and leave my family. It’s unhealthy for grown-ups to live at home. Some days I felt shame and other days I felt like I really needed to leave the nest. Again, this question of how abnormal was continued to be thrown my way. Because I moved to this country, I needed to enculturate and do what all adult American’s do and that was to get my own place…
I am glad that my parents put up such a fight when they didn’t let me leave my nest, because I don’t think that my life would be as rich as it has been. In Mexico, kids don’t leave home unless they get married and no one blinks an eye, but here if you don’t live on your own by a certain age all these negative connotations smack you in the face.
Growing up poor, my dream was to buy my parents a house. If you live in California one is lucky if one can afford to purchase one home let alone two. So, I have been living in this dream home with the people I love most and I have finally realized that I don’t care if people look at me and think negatively because I love coming home to my family. My parents give me SO MUCH joy! Recently, they took a trip to Mexico and I wanted to call them every day, but I stopped myself from being so clingy (LOL) and only called them twice a week. They were gone for three weeks and coming home to an empty nest felt sickening. I was as depressed as my little Francis who didn’t eat for the first two days out of pure sadness.
On Thursday, they returned and boy has the mood in my home changed. It was when after a long day of work, as I was stuck on the 405 (impatient to get home) that I realized how much I am a family person. I don’t care that living alone gives this admired gold star “yep, she has her stuff together,” because living with my folks doesn’t take away from the responsible person that I am. I mean I have been working since I was fifteen years old! My parents will tell you that out of their children I am the one that they least worry about… I will tell you that I am blessed to have these years to live so closely with the best people on the planet that I know. No regrets about not leaving the nest- in fact only the best memories of a constantly full house to arrive to.