As a child/teenager, you might often think to yourself “I can’t wait until I’m out of this dang house” – probably when you’re having disagreements with your parents. You think to yourself the amount of freedom you’ll have on your own. Of course, you don’t think about the blocks of stress that comes with all the stuff you have to worry about. But this isn’t about that.
This is about the reality that a lot of people either come back home or never leave home. This is not totally uncommon on Guam. I know a lot of people who have raised their families in their parents homes, eventually taking over the payment of bills and all of that stuff. This is about the reality that once you do become an adult and therefore, do have to make decisions for yourself the dynamic between you and your parents changes.
That change, itself, is a struggle. I, as a 25 year old married adult living at the house I grew up in, can attest to it. The strange part of that struggle is that it wasn’t apparent until I returned home from my year in Texas. For most of my college years, my parents left the house to me so they could travel so I was used to cooking for myself, learning how to manage my money (poorly lol) and figuring out how to keep the house together – with help in obvious places. So those months out of the year that we were together consisted of a dynamic in which I just did my thing. But then the change happened, I left and came back and the dynamic was different for some reason. It was like we forgot how to be around each other.
For the first time in a while, we were at constant odds and disagreeing with each other. I found myself reacting to them more irrationally than I care to admit. This is that change I’m talking about. It’s trying to figure out how to act as an adult with your parents who have, for the most part, been in charge of your decisions. This probably comes a lot with adults who return home. You disagree about how things should be done or what should be done. They try to enforce their authority because they are your parents but you insist that there is a better way to do things or that something shouldn’t be done at all. It’s a push and pull that happens for everyone, I think.
Two years after I’ve returned home, things are different but it’s still a question in my mind. I think of it every time I want to cook or dad decides to fix something in the bathroom without telling me. How much should I be contributing? Should I just let them do the thing or should I insist I do it?
But I guess this change in dynamic occurs whether or not you move out of your parents’ home. I’m sure new parents have to deal with their parents insistence on how to do something. Even if you move out, your parents might just have something to say about where you live and what you’re paying for it. I guess you can’t ever really escape this. I wonder if regularly exposure does help, though. I wonder if growing as an adult in the same house helps them to see that progress and accept it sooner rather than being hit in the face of your adulthood when you see them again. Probably right?
Anyway, this is merely an observational/thought post. There wasn’t really a point to this, if you were wondering. I’m sure I’ll have many more of these ramblings as the days go by. I’ve had ramblings on this page in the past but they usually had a point to them; there was a thesis, rather. This, like I’ve mentioned of the 100 day writing, is a bit different. I wonder what I’ll be writing when I don’t have an actual topic in mind. Perhaps it’ll be a Dear Diary, sort of thing.