in a seemingly risky departure from american cultural norms/values, i would like to recommend living with your parents as a thirty-something — with the following caveats:
- this living situation is ideal after having lived apart from your parents.
- this living situation is ideal for minimizing expenses associated with earning a professional/graduate degree.
- this living situation is ideal if duration is fixed.
i’d been away from home for almost twelve years, with almost eight of them after undergrad. i’ve traipsed along the spectrum of self-sufficiency during that time, and even as i enter my second year under my parents’ roof, i exercise fair amounts of freedom and autonomy.
my friend gavin, who could possibly be my fraternal twin brother in a parallel universe somewhere, told me a few years ago that God would shed light on the meaning of “family” for me. i’m convinced that those dozen years i spent outside of my hometown was a season of revelation of what it looks like to be in God’s family; my spiritual family grew exponentially. now i believe that the past year and the next three years (at least) will be a season of recovery: both of vision for my biological family, and taste for the kingdom of God here in new york city.
living with mom and dad as a “grown” woman has been, in a word, enlightening. parental instinct is like the shelf-life of fruitcake: indefinite. the instances my parents have handed me cash — gas money, or just because — outnumber the times i’ve asked them for financial help.
i could, and hopefully will, in the near future, dedicate a post entirely to the fruit and fallout of being told, “you’re just like your father.” suffice it to say in this post that living as an adult with your parents proves that “the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.” i learned whence my massive sweet tooth cometh when i watched daddy-o help himself to some nutella, of which i thought i was the sole consumer. but also, why i enjoy watching jeopardy! as much as i do? #mymothermyself [gathering proverbial worms back into equally figurative can]
information about summer law institute (SLI) and pre-law orientation finally hit my inbox a week or so ago. i learned which classes i’m taking, and who’ll be teaching them (except for legal research). today, i begin my second day of SLI, aka bridge over nine-year gap from academia.
law school so far reminds me more of high school than university in that my law school is public, and that i commute via public transportation. thankfully, and more importantly, i enjoyed high school quite a bit. true to my contrarian/optimist tendencies, i believe that i will enjoy law school, too — thanks muchly to the motley crew that is our 1L class, i’m sure.
in addition to illuminating my roots, living with my parents offers the support i need for the next few years as a commuter law student. at a practical level, not paying rent, not worrying about grocery shopping, and not having to fish for quarters to wash my clothes will free me to grapple with contracts and learn three-word latin phrases and legal terms.
my spiritual family prayed me into law school, and i’m so grateful that the encouragement of said people will keep acting as grease to keep me going as i kick into high gear. but now, my natural family will play a key role in getting me through law school.
it’s a divine, counterintuitive exchange: by surrendering or postponing my declaration of independence, i get to trace my origins and said examination of my roots will help me better understand my identity. this in turn refines my sense of individuality in a way that i wouldn’t be possibly by myself.
in that light, sleeping in a twin bed and decorating my imaginary apartment only on pinterest and in my dreams for the next three years ain’t no thang.