Am I 16 Again?: What It's Like To Move Back Home At Age 23

Last month, I decided to overhaul my life. I broke up with my boyfriend (we’re back together now, long story), quit my part-time serving job, turned down a potential second job, packed up all of my belongings (including my cats) and moved back in with my parents. While some may consider this a mid-20s crisis, I consider it a much-needed fresh start.

I had lived in San Diego for over four years, give or take a few summer vacations, and developed a fear of being alone. I was paranoid that I would lose my friends if I wasn’t perfect and always available for them when they needed me, and as a result I became overwhelmed and overly dependent on others for my own happiness. I was stuck in a rut and had a moment of clarity one morning that I needed to get out of the city that was slowly swallowing me whole. So I moved three hours away to Ventura and have started the process of finding my independence so that I can rely on myself, and only myself, when it comes to being content with my life.

But that’s not to say I’ll never need a support system. I think it’s important for all of us to develop close relationships with our family and trustworthy friends because they play an important role in helping us develop a valuable sense of self. I’ve learned through this experience that people really do care about me and that it is worth nurturing my relationships with them and keeping them close to my heart. The encouragement of my friends, parents, sister and boyfriend (even when he was my ex-boyfriend) has reassured me that I’ve made the right decision by moving back to my childhood home, and that it was brave of me to leave my comfort zone as a means of bettering myself.

So what do I do with all of my free time as an extra-unemployed 23-year-old who lives with her parents? I spend my days:

  • designing my future home and wedding on Pinterest (check out my pins here)
  • gathering inspiration from my friends’ blogs
  • relaxing in pajamas
  • reorganizing my childhood bedroom
  • watching Dr. Oz, Ellen and HGTV every afternoon
  • laughing out loud while watching Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
  • watching repeats of Hoda and Kathie Lee on Today at 2 a.m.
  • building up the energy to pick up the pace on finding a job
  • collecting articles to read on Instapaper, my new favorite web app
  • editing my wardrobe and donating a good amount of stuff to Goodwill

While my days may involve an abundance of television shows and interwebbing, they also involve regular heart-to-hearts with my mom and cleaning up after the six animals I now live with. Obviously, I’m living the dream.

Have any of you moved back in with your parents after college? Do you have any advice on how to avoid falling in love with being lazy and becoming addicted to television? Do you have leads on any jobs? Am I too old to put posters on my walls?

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