Friday, February 10, 2017

3 Lessons Learned from Moving Home as an Adult

After I finished college at 22, I had no job lined up because my plan had fallen through, so I moved home while I was job hunting.

A few months before I turned 23, I moved to South Korea to teach English while working on an MA in English online.

I fell in love with teaching, but the stress of work, school, and living in a foreign country was taking a toll.

To devote more time to my school work and sincerely developing my thesis to complete my program, I moved home again at 24.

The plan was to finish my MA in about 3 months, and get a job before 2016 ended.

Despite numerous applications and interviews, nothing was coming through. So I decided to apply to return to Korea.

I knew that doing so was signing on to remain at home for a full year again, but I didn’t see another option.

Luckily, I got the job and I leave again exactly one week from today, but I’ve spent the last year living back at home as an adult after a year of living entirely independently in a studio apartment in South Korea.

I learned a lot about life and me while fending for myself in Korea, and moving back home was jarring to say the least.

Here’s a look at what I learned about dealing with that jarring transition of being home with family again.
Moving home after being an independent adult - 3 things to keep in mind

Embrace the fact that your parents still expect you to have all your childhood habits.

I never used to wake up before 9am. My mom would comment when I got up before 9.

I was not a fan of working out, so any time I did it was worthy of commentary.

Habits that I developed while away were long familiar to me, but strange and unexpected to my family (no matter how much we had spoken about those changes over the year I was away). I was a bit shocked and annoyed that everything I did was becoming a topic of conversation.

For some time, I felt like this was a pressure to return to those old habits I had moved past, and for some time did just that.

But I realized that, just as I was transitioning from alone to home, my family was facing the changed version of me they were suddenly confronted with.

My family happened to face this change by commenting on everything I did.

Don’t expect everything to go smoothly moving home, but know that both you and your family will become used to each other again.

The commentary WILL stop (or at least it will not be about all those childhood habits you’ve long since dropped).

In a similar tone, your family may expect the same level of responsibility from you as before you left. 

So for me, chores were expected like dishes and trash, but financial contributions weren’t expected.

I took that as a bit of a challenge to try to contribute more to the house than I had before.

I wasn’t expected to do such things, but I had done it for myself for so long it wasn’t a hardship.

Admittedly, the food I cooked for myself wasn’t my family’s preference, so I don’t cook much.

Don’t let low expectations stop you from doing what you can at all times. 
I had money saved up, so I paid for what I could.

I also took on more chores like looking after the pets, doing the dishes more often and so on.

I will say that being at home makes it harder for me to do these things because I just hate chores, but I made myself do it anyway.

Finally, feel free to disagree with your parents about… everything.

Before you got out and lived life on your own, your main source of exposure to many opinions came from home.

But after being away from family, either at college or by living in your own apartment far away, you have different life experiences.

Don’t discount that experience!

You lived it, you feel it, use it to talk with your family!

You are not going to agree on everything. You may have strong opinions that stand against what your parents do.

Tell them!

Part of growing up is learning to talk about things you find important with people who disagree.

Practice with your family.

They are supposed to love you unconditionally, right? Hopefully they will support your differences.

(Just remember to be respectful. You can disagree without screaming arguments. Those don’t convince anyone to see your side of the issue.)

There are the 3 lessons I learned from moving home as an adult.

What are your experiences?

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