It’s that time of year again. The New Year is almost here, and with it comes a new resolution.
I’ll admit, keeping resolutions really is much easier said than done. Life gets in the way, so to speak, which can make it that much harder to break out of old habits and really push yourself to do something that may seem challenging or even impossible to do. But having goals is what motivates us, what gives us drive, what gives us meaning, what pushes us and helps us grow and learn. Anything worth doing doesn’t come easy. If you want something, you need to work hard to get it. Nothing comes handed to you. This stuff may sound cliché, but it’s true. Not only that, but the satisfaction of finally achieving your goal, whether it’s something small or something life-long, truly is the ultimate satisfaction.
And so, heading into 2016, I’ve given myself a new goal, which is to work my way towards becoming more independent.
As a member of the millennial generation, it’s true that it’s taking us longer to “grow up” compared to generations before us. In the baby boomer generation, for instance, most people would be married and out of the house by the time they were my age (almost 25). In the generation before that, they’d get married even younger. My grandmother, in fact, had married my grandpa and finished having all three of their children by the time she was 25.
And then there’s people like me, still living at home with their parents.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m not saying you need to be a certain age to be considered “grown up.” (I keep using quotation marks because I don’t think any of us truly knows what it means to be a “grown up.” We get older. We experience and learn new things about life along the way. We figure out what we want and what we don’t want. We fake it ’til me make it. That’s all there is to it.) There are many upsides to still living at home. For starters, there’s the financial aspect. When you’re on your own, you’re in charge of paying rent. You’re in charge of paying all the bills. You’re in charge of buying groceries, cooking all your own meals, upkeeping your own place, really just taking care of yourself in general. With that comes more responsibilities, but it also gives you more freedom in the sense that you make your own rules.
For me, there’s another major advantage to still living at home, which is that I’m fortunate to have a great family, and I genuinely enjoy living with all of them. Sure, families drive each other crazy at times, mine included, but I love them all and wouldn’t have it any other way.
That being said, as I continue to fumble my way through transitioning into adulthood, I’ve come to find that there are still many important steps along the way that I’ll need to take. While I’m doing well in certain aspects of my life–I have a job, I don’t have any student loans, etc.–I now need to shift my focus to other things to help me start growing up more so that when I eventually do move out, I’ll have a better sense of what I’m doing. For example, I still don’t have a passport. I currently don’t have a car, either. (In my defense, though, I take the train to work, so I don’t really need a car right now. However, since I would like to move to California someday, a car is mandatory to get around, so I’m going to need one sooner or later.)
So, little by little, I’d like to do more things on my own and really focus more on my priorities and figure out my next steps in life, both professionally and personally. With that in mind, here’s to a successful and bright, fun and interesting, challenging yet rewarding, prosperous and exciting 2016!