Hello all you beautiful souls. Firstly, I want thank you for the support on my latest post, I am overwhelmed with the responses I’ve received. I worked on that post for a really long time and it truly means a lot to me. If you haven’t read it yet (what are you doing with your life man?), you can check it out here.
Anyhoo, considering the huge responses I get to real life posts, I thought why not expand a bit more. This one is something that I don’t really speak about to many people because I often feel like its a bit controversial. I say this because I’ve heard many conversations between people on opposing sides and whilst I do love a good debate, this really comes down to preference. So whilst I will be covering just one perspective, just know that ultimately it comes down to you. Take it or leave it, I guess.
Right, let’s get the obvious’s out of the way : I come from a middle class (sort of) Indian family in Durban, I had a baby when I was 17, I had a High School education and I had never traveled out of the City until I was 22, I think. These are important to mention so that you can gauge what type of circumstances I had and why I had to choose the decisions that I did. I think it’s safe to say that growing up in a small Indian community definitely affects your decisions, especially when you’re a female. It isn’t really ideal to move out of your parents’ house when you’re 18, for a number of reasons – let’s list some of them :
- Financial reasons – this one will apply to everyone who does not have loads of cash waiting in their trust fund for when they turn 18. And let’s be honest here, stuff is extremely expensive, so if you’re telling me that at 18, you are able to afford rent, food AND petrol… please show me your ways because I am 26 and still eat 2-minute noodles lol. And if you’re a student then your parents are already taking out a second mortgage just to cover textbooks every year. You still need to worry about paying for electricity, water and the real devil – DATA. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just that it’s extremely difficult – especially with the state of debt that we as a nation are in.
- Family dynamics (or lack thereof) – no Indian person can tell me that their parent/s are REALLY happy when their kid moves out. We all heard the usual threats, “You must just go and live on your own if you don’t want to listen”, and “When I’m not around, then you will know”, or my personal favourite, “I will have so much of peace when you leave this house”. We all know that those are just words spoken out of anger/frustration and the day you even THINK of moving out, their hearts will be aching. This is a tough one because on the one hand, we have a young person who needs to be on their own in order to learn responsibility and grow as an individual but on the other hand, the parents are just experts at mollycoddling. Most of the time, this results in an entitled adult, unable to take care of themselves and we just see these vicious cycles based on an unhealthy dependency.
- Outside influences – sadly, I don’t think that this is just limited to the Indian community. We just are so concerned with what other people think or what they say that we neglect to see what is important for our own growth. Instead of seeing moving out as a form of liberation, a start of a new chapter in your life, a right of passage to adulthood, it starts to seem wrong because you’re too young? Are you though?
You know, these few reasons can just discourage you completely from wanting to move out on your own. Sometimes it’s so easy to just crawl back into that small-town mentality and just want to live with your mother until she leaves. So what could moving out possibly teach you? I’m going to share a few things that I’ve learnt, and am still learning :
What I’ve learnt
- Respect – this one seems weird, but it’s a new found respect that I have for my mother. She worked a full-time job, had 2 children and yet you would still struggle to find a stained dishcloth anywhere in the house. I cannot begin to tell you how extremely lazy I was growing up, I HATED cleaning up, washing dishes (I still hate dishes), ironing and just about anything that meant me being pried away from the TV. I lived with my father for a bit and he’s always been the one who did everything for me, so best believe that when I got a place of my own, it was SO difficult for me to adjust. Heck, I’m still adjusting, but I really do take my hat off for everyone who runs a household. You’re a real one.
- Financial Independence – I almost don’t want to share too much on this because I’m not the most financially savvy person there is. It’s really sad though because financial education is IMPERATIVE to everyone. But what I can say is that having to pay R80 for a block of cheese really puts things into perspective for you. Moving out on your own (should) force you to budget properly, maybe even be a little less frivolous when it comes to spending your hard earned money. This is actually something that we’re trying to teach to my 9 year old because THAT is how important money management is.
- Getting to know ME – I can’t even begin to put into words how much I’ve changed over the years – I don’t even think that I’m the same person that I was yesterday. And this is such an amazing journey that you will find yourself on, which is why it is so important that you take on this journey by yourself. It is so much easier to have your own space and “find yourself”. Remember in my previous post, I mentioned healing yourself and being complete – being alone doesn’t have to mean that you’re lonely. Some of the best conversations that I’ve had were with myself – really, I hardly ever disagree with myself! But trust me, knowing exactly who you are is so much easier to do BEFORE you attempt to let someone else figure you out.
- Responsibility & Accountability – I think this one is just an expansion of my first point. There’s just something about having to do laundry every single day that just humbles you, you know? (I’m actually crying on the inside because that laundry basket is bottomless) This is for both males and females because this sort of thing sets you up for the kind of life you will probably have with your significant other. I’ve had my fair share of relationships where I was “expected” to be a servant at home – not because they were physically unable to put a plate in the sink but because they’ve never had to take care of themselves. PARENTS, STOP DOING THAT TO YOUR KIDS! It just creates such crappy human beings and unhealthy future relationships… we don’t need that. Over time, it starts becoming less of a duty and more of a habit. Also, if you can afford to pay someone to do these things for you – no shame in that. To each their own.
- Maturity – this is and isn’t an age specific thing. But there needs to be context because you need all of these things to almost work hand-in-hand. You’re not really going to know what maturity is if you don’t understand what it takes to run a household. Whatever that means to you – paying the bills, budgeting, cleaning, cooking, etc. You’re not going to be a mature individual if you haven’t been able to grow as a person – sometimes this comes with time or experience and other times you can realise it on your own. I can tell you that it is important to remember that there is a time for everything so don’t be in a rush to be mature. It’s kind of tricky this one, but I would bring it back to knowing yourself and where you are as a person. Can you track Bitcoin prices and still watch Spongebob? Sure, there are split screens. 🙂
If you want to read a bit more on moving out or if you’re considering it, check out this article. There are so many resources available online and you can even speak to someone that you trust. These are important conversations though, so be mindful of the source.
Did you like this one? Let me know about anything you’d like to add or want me to expand on. I love hearing from you.
Until next time
*cover image source : pexels