In the summer of 2017, after graduating from college in southern California, I hopped on a plane back to my hometown in Hawaii to live with my parents and work on getting a job. By December 2018, I had been working at my current job for a year and 5 months, and I made a fleeting goal to move out of my parents’ house sometime in the new year. Even though I didn’t feel ready, I thought that I would never feel ready and it would be something I just had to force myself to do. I also convinced myself that if I didn’t have any friends who were also moving out, then rooming with strangers could be an exciting experience if I found the right people. I decided that the moment I made enough supplemental income from my side hustle would be the moment I moved out.
That plan has now backfired because the goal year was just a shot in the dark. I will probably stay with my parents another year, and I am totally okay with that. Here are the reasons why.
1. Still Figuring Out The Side Hustle
The side hustle that I planned to utilize to make more money and leave the nest was freelance writing, but I was only able to hit the ground running a month ago, so it is not fully established and not consistent. I have been writing for a content company, but the pay is on the typical low side and I am still learning how to finish projects faster. I also helped a friend update their website content and got paid for it. He has more projects in mind for me, but I can’t start on them yet, so I can’t consider it a steady gig.
2. Deciding to Focus on Figuring out Career
Because I focused on the sole task of making enough money to move out, I looked for easy writing projects that I could do fast. However, I recently made the decision to pursue a career in the marketing field, so now I’m focusing on getting pieces published and volunteering to write informational content and direct-response copy for people in my network. As a result I’m writing less easy writing projects for the sake of money and being more strategic about the projects I write. For these, I am most likely not going to be paid, but their value will be inherently greater in the long run.
This also means I devote a lot of my free time to not just writing, but also refreshing my marketing knowledge and researching potential full-time job opportunities. Being able to just come straight to my parents’ home and do my work is something I value right now.
3. I Care About Saving and Enjoying
The reality is that I actually could move out right now and live in an shared apartment or house if I really wanted to. However, I would hardly be able to save any money and I would have to watch my spending very carefully. I choose to not move out right now so I can continue saving aggressively and indulge in myself from time to time without having to worry.
4. I’ve Learned to Not Care Anymore
Truth be told, I’ve adjusted to living with my parents and our relationship is good enough for me to feel comfortable interacting with them everyday. Before, I really wanted to move out because I saw it as a marker of adult life that I was falling behind on and felt ashamed about it. No one had ever said anything to make me feel this way; it was only my own insecurities that made myself feel bad for living at home.
Once I realized my main reason for moving out was superficial, I took it upon myself to just not care anymore what people may or may not think of me and my living situation. I know that I’m living with my parents because I’m working towards a greater goal, not just being lazy and bumming around. And besides, in Hawaii there are actually a lot of young people like me that still live with their parents because the cost of living can be very expensive! Being Asian American also means it’s more culturally acceptable to still live with my parents as a young adult. So I’m definitely not the only one in this situation, even though it feels like it.
I previously thought moving out would be the next big thing for me. Now, I’ve decided to prioritize my savings fund and career, so I’m taking advantage of the privilege that my parents don’t mind having me live with them again. I know they’re a huge help to me, so besides paying cheap rent, I also contribute to taking care of the house by doing some chores, cooking meals when my mom is too tired to cook, and helping her figure out how to use her new computer. Guess it’s a win-win situation after all for everyone!
Carole is a somewhat quiet individual who loves to express her voice through creative endeavors. In her spare time, she likes to breakdance, write, and sing when no one is listening.
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