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Living with My Parents (Again)

There are few things I’ve sworn I will never do again…

1) Stay in a relationship just because “I think it’ll get better.”

2) Continue to maintain a habit or opinion because “that’s the way it’s always been done”

3) Move back in with my parents after graduating college

Recently, I failed on the third item. Upon graduating from Calvin College, I already had a job as a temp working for Chaco, a sport sandal company held by Wolverine Worldwide.

Working for them was a dream come true. It’s an awesome company, and I was a hardcore fangirl for a couple of years before the chance to work for them sort of fell into my lap. A couple of emails and an interview later, and I was working with one of the hippest companies in Grand Rapids.

But like all temp work it ended, and I was on my way to the Northeast in August to do some film work. After coming back to the Midwest from Boston and New Hampshire, with no work and not wanting to settle down anywhere when I may be packing up again quickly, I moved back in with my parents.

Something I said I would never do.

And this isn’t a post to complain about living with my folks. They’ve been very gracious, and really haven’t overstepped their “bounds” (or at least what I’d imagine they should be). This is more me processing the bizarre and awkward reality that I’m currently living.

I’m in South Haven, Michigan, someplace I’ve always loved. Living in the family condo, I have everything at my fingertips. The beach, the lake, groceries, great country roads to ride my bike on, a cute downtown to walk around in, and three breweries in town. I’m an hour away from Grand Rapids, and by the numbers it looks pretty good. Although I’m missing one thing—


Having people is one of those things that you don’t really know how important it is until you don’t have it. When I was living and working in Grand Rapids, I had no issues because I was still in the community that had raised me for the last four years of college. When I was in the Northeast, I had friends from New Hampshire and Boston, and when I didn’t have friends around, everything was new enough and a fun, short term adventure. I didn’t mind constantly meeting new people (plus I was working at an all girls summer camp… whoops).

And the not having people, much more than the whole “oh I’ve failed myself because I’ve moved back in with my parents, wah wah wah,” is what bothered me about South Haven. I saw how quiet town got, and the thought of “why am I doing this to myself” crossed my mind several times.

This came to a bit of a head in one of my last blogs, when I was struggling with borderline depression. The loneliness was becoming too much for me, so I committed to visiting my friends in Grand Rapids a couple of times a week. And that helped a lot. Not to say that it isn’t still difficult, but it’s much better.

So yes, Living with My Parents (Again) was a clever title that caught your eye, but this was more about the importance of people, a lesson I’ve been consistently learning since graduating. My only complaint is how my parents want a hotel level clean.

But when you’re retired and own your own home, I suppose that’s something that you can very fairly demand.


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