Movin' Out

My internet colleague and cohost, Richard J. Anderson, on The Big Move:

Once again, I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want. I certainly don’t want ten times more of what I have now. For God’s sake, I am ready, at least, to be scared shitless and stop doing what I am expected to do, and go do something new and different.

I moved out of my dad’s house this weekend.

I’ve been writing this website for eleven months, and I’ve always neglected mentioning that I lived at home, primarily out of shame. Not that I don’t love my parents — of course I do — but no twenty-five-year-old wants to admit he lives in his parents’ basement, no matter how nice a basement it is. (And mine was really nice.)

I graduated from college in 2009 and then immediately went to grad school. Because I was still a student and living on a paltry graduate intern salary, I moved back home. The initial plan was that I’d move out six months after graduation, but because my thesis is taking for-freaking-ever, those lines got blurred. Eventually, my dad and I agreed that June 1 would be the deadline.

It was a benevolent and mutually agreed upon deadline. My parents wanted me to leave the nest and spread my wings, and I wanted to not live in my parents’ basement anymore. So it’s a good thing. Kind of scary. But a good thing.

Living at home is a double-edged sword. It’s very comfortable; food, shelter, love… Everything is provided for you. But because of this comfort, complacency inevitably follows. There’s no sense of urgency when you live at home. Sure, you know you need to move out and do something with your life, but there’s no one threatening to break down your door if you don’t. You’re safe. Protected.

And why shouldn’t you be? That’s what home is. But while home is a wonderful thing, it’s not the best environment for getting to where you want to be.

Sometimes the fire under one’s ass is best lit by fear.

While I was living in my parents’ basement, I found it very hard to be productive. I got my blog posts written, but did little else in the way of creating. I certainly couldn’t work on my thesis. I was home. I was comfy. Too comfy. There’s my couch, and my computer, and my books, and my television, and my basses. I can’t do work right now. No way. I’ll do work later.

I was trapped in this vicious cycle of comfortable complacency, and it depressed the shit out of me.

And so begins Phase One of starting my life as independent.

I’m staying with a good friend for the summer. The bed is loud. The birds are loud. The sun is bright in the morning. It’s not my house.

But it’s a start.

It’s a start because, now that I’m out of the house — scared, vulnerable, uncomfortable — there’s a sense of urgency. This is the real deal.

I’m out from under my parents’ roof. I’m exposed to the elements. It’s up to me to decide what I’m going to do today to get to where I want to be.

It’s survive or die.

And I’m not going to die.

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