Writing Challenge Day 8: What’s Heavy on My Heart?
Day 8: What is weighing heavy on your heart right now? Vent it out.
Annnnnd here come the serious topics lol. Whew…alright. Y’all asked for it; here it goes.
Several things have been weighing heavy on my heart lately, but of those, the top thing would be feeling like I’m not where I should be in life because I can’t afford to live on my own.
Yes, I know that most of us in our twenties are feeling the self-imposed pressure of thinking we need to have it all together by now. For me, this notion is especially looming as I climb toward my 24th birthday, which will be here in a few short weeks. If you’ll recall, this time last year one of my first blog posts was centered on feeling like I was in the sunken place personally and professionally. What I never explicitly disclosed in this space was that I HATED my first post-graduate job. I liked the people I worked with, but hated the position itself. Thankfully, I am in a much better position now, more suited toward my skills and goals, but I am still facing another common millennial issue: financial limitations as a result of my income (because these companies like our work ethic but don’t like to adequately pay us).
The truth is, like many young adults right out of college, I still live at home. I moved back in right after graduating, and I’ve been here ever since.
Hear me clearly on this: I love and appreciate my family so much for allowing me the privilege of living at home so I can save up, and try to get on my feet in ways they weren’t able to at my age. I really do. I just didn’t know I would still be here a year and a half later for no other reason than the fact that I can’t afford to do anything else.
I’m not claiming to be miserable at home, because I’m blessed. Things could be a lot worse, and are for many people. But, I would be telling a boldfaced lie if I said I didn’t miss the privileges of having my own space sometimes.
I know some of you are thinking, You don’t pay rent, what could you possibly be missing?
Some days, I miss coming home after work to a quiet house and being able to decompress…Being able to come and go whenever and with whomever without question or making anyone worry…Having friends over to chill, watch movies, and cut up at all hours of the day or night, especially on weekends…Talking on the phone whenever it rings, without having to be mindful of my volume or other people trying to sleep…And just having a break from being someone’s daughter or big sister all the time, and just being me.
My mom would probably read this and perceive it as me complaining, but that’s not what this is at all. She would likely say that I’m being silly and argue that, “No one is keeping youfrom doing any of those things, Kristian.”
She’d be right to a certain degree. No one is actively prohibiting me from doing anything, theoretically, but the fact is that there are certain parameters around things that I can and cannot do out of respect for the household I live in, that didn’t exist while I was living on my own before.
I can’t turn up on the weekend and then show up at home lit (and I wouldn’t want to out of respect for my parents and young sibling).
I can’t be out at all hours of the day and night on a whim with friends because there will be someone worried sick until I return home.
I can’t lay around for a weekend without someone thinking something is wrong with me.
And I’m rarely alone.
Being the only child in our household until right before I turned 18, I subscribed very early to a deep sense of independence and grew to appreciate time alone. As an adult, moments of solitude are not just something I appreciate; they’re something I’ve found that I need in order to recharge.
My now rambunctious, energetic 6-year-old baby brother has no idea what that’s all about and couldn’t care less. He’s a kid; always in play mode and unaware of what life is like without siblings to love and entertain you. Thus, he is stuck to me like glue all the time. While I love how much he looks up to me and the deep bond that we share, the fact remains that sometimes I need some separation.
I need a break from Legos, Transformers, Marvel’s Avengers, and the other things little boys are obsessed with. Unfortunately, I don’t always know how to draw the line between being a loving, attentive sibling and preventing myself from feeling like an exhausted third parent. Sometimes, this leads to me stretching myself too thin, becoming irritable with him, which can make him think he’s made me mad, and then I feel bad because he doesn’t deserve that. I try to be a good sister, but the huge age gap complicates things sometimes.
I don’t always know how to say “I need some me time,” and be taken seriously, without it being mistaken as me being mean.
I also don’t know how to block off non-negotiable time for myself, or set firm boundaries for my own well-being, without feeling somewhat guilty or worrying about somebody else feeling some type of way.
I’ve mostly remained quiet about all this because I know that such transparency about these feelings can easily be mistaken for ungratefulness by family members, even though that’s not where I’m coming from at all.
In my opinion, moving back home is a blessing, but it does come at the price of sacrificing certain freedoms and re-adjusting to trying to navigate a set of rules/expectations (whether implied, explicitly stated, or both) while you work to get your stuff together. It’s hard to step back into that box once you’ve spent time out of it, and it sucks sometimes, but it’s just part of the trade off. I can’t stress enough that I appreciate my family’s generosity, especially given that so many parents do tell their kids to “go figure it out” after college. But even in being appreciative of my situation, sometimes I just need more space to do my own thing.
So to answer the original question, what’s weighing heaviest on my heart right now is that it’s been a year and a half of me living back at home, and I still have yet to find balance between living with my family again and still maintaining my own sense of self in a way that’s not misunderstood. Truthfully, it’s just frustrating being grown enough to work, but lacking an income sufficient enough to afford one of the main elements of adulthood, a place to call my own.
Reminding myself on this one: Be Grateful. Be Patient. Stay Kultured.