Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thing 16 - Move Out of My Parent's House

The past year or so has felt rather awkward in my house. There’s been a definite shift in my attitude towards the building I live in. For example, there was a time when I gave a shit about the way the house was decorated. In the past year or so, I’ve genuinely stopped caring about the state of our house. I say “our” house, but it’s not mine, it’s my parent’s (dad and stepmom).

Recently, my parents have had a major reconstruction of our kitchen. The house is an old farmhouse, so the walls aren’t even straight. It had to be a complete overhaul and was going to take a lot of time. My parents spoke with our contractor, went down to various stores, chose paint, chose cupboards, and chose tiles, etc. They made all the designing decisions and set all the dates for construction. I wasn’t involved, and didn’t want to be. A while later, prior to the demo of the kitchen, my friend and her mother came over for tea and this conversation happened:

Her mum: What kind of lighting are you going to have put in?

Me: I don’t know.

Her mum: You don’t know? Well, what are the cupboards like?

Me: I really don’t know.

Her mum, in an angry tone: Well, why not? It’s your house, too!

Me, trying to end the conversation: No, it’s not my house. It’s their house.

Perhaps I should have cared more about the decisions being made for my parent’s future kitchen, at least to be polite. Polite to my parents, that is. This particular woman spends a good deal of time feeling indignant; nothing other people do pleases her. Besides, I could sort of already guess what they had planned. My stepmother and I have never agreed on décor. She likes yellow, cornflower blue, and Monet; I like sage green, khaki, and African masks. No matter what, we were not going to agree. We don’t have to, because it’s not my house. I didn’t have an opinion on the kitchen, although I have to admit they did a great job. It looks really nice.

Most people post pics of their own accomplishments in their blog. I post pics of someone else's hard work.

At the ripe old age of 29, I’ve finally gone and done it. I’ve signed a lease for an apartment. I think I’ve been ready to move out for awhile, but it’s difficult to sign a one year lease when you’re fresh out of college (for the second time) and have only gotten 6 months of work at a time. I have a job with a year’s contract.

Part of me thinks I should have moved out sooner. Taken on some debt, struggled with nutrition, worn socks several times in a row, that sort of thing. The truth is that the first time I lived on my own, it didn’t go very well. It was my third and fourth year in university, and I was horribly depressed at the time. Several lows in my life occurred while I was living in my own, including having to quit my job and cancel a new year’s party with friends from high school, so that I could go home for some therapy. My apartment was an absolute pigsty. At one point I had spilled an almost full two liter bottle of soda on the floor and didn’t clean it up for days. I went on Paxil, which worked wonders on the weeks that I remembered to take it. Basically, I was really awful at taking care of myself. My guess is that – aside from finances – I hadn’t thought much about moving out because I’m worried a bit about myself. I think I always will be a little worried, in the back of my mind.

Granted, I’m not the same person now as I was then. I’m excited to move out. I’m excited about decorating my place the way I want, taking 20 minute showers if I want, watching what I want, staying up late, and just having some Peace and Quiet in my life. I’m really excited because I’ll be a short drive away from my workplace, and the place is cheap and clean. I’m excited about cooking! Sure, I’ll make mistakes, but I’ll be able to use spices! Spices! Spices that weren’t even allowed to cross the threshold of my parent’s house! Ginger! And if I want, I can just have a cup of tea and microwave popcorn for supper. I’ll be mad with power and turn up the heat and walk around nude whenever I please. Sometimes, I’ll play music and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes, I’ll have people over, and sometimes I’ll just build a fort for myself in the living room with blankets and eat cookies and read all Saturday and ignore my phone. Sometimes, I’ll do the crossword puzzle in the paper, and put all the wrong words in, on purpose. Mad with power.

I think it’s safe to say I’m excited about the apartment, and I’m probably going to be okay.

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