I was 17 when I moved away from home to start university.
Anxious and excited to be the first in my family to study on a full scholarship, I counted the days until I could move out.
While these positive things were happening in my academic life, things at home were chaotic. My relationship with my parents was toxic and strained because of our different religious views.
Side note: Here are the horoscopes and self care. Post continues below.
Religion — or rather, my departure from the church — is why my parents and I didn’t have a great relationship for most of my late teens, early twenties, and on.
To finally be on my own as a university student was exhilarating for me.
I woke up when I wanted. I did chores because I loved to keep tidy, not because I was ordered to. And I went out at night without asking for permission.
When I finished my studies, I moved to California with my high school boyfriend and got a job in social work. I felt like an actual adult, independent and grown-up, and I swore I’d never live at home again.
Over the next 13 years, I lived in three different states in a house with a boyfriend, a house with roommates, and in an apartment by myself.
I was always proud of myself for making it on my own without my parents — our relationship was still messy, and I was happier living my life away from them.
And then, life happened. I grew up.
Therapy helped me heal my relationship with my parents, and shockingly, I considered moving back to my hometown to be closer to my family.
When I found an apartment that wouldn’t be available for another three months, I thought about how easy (and financially smart) it would be to live at my parent’s house while I waited to move into my new place.