Growing up, I always had a clear-cut vision of what my life would be like once I became an adult: graduate from college, move to New York and become the next Carrie Bradshaw, meet and fall in love with a fine, chocolate, financially stable tenderoni, get married around 26, start popping out kids around 27 or 28, and live happily ever after with my perfect career, perfect husband and our perfect little family.
Then real life happened.
Right after graduating from college I struck ill with a rare disease called dermatomyositis, moved back home to Michigan with my parents to seek treatment, recovered by the grace of God six months later, and jumpstarted my career at a local publishing company shortly thereafter. This experience — and adulthood in general — pretty much taught me that life never happens exactly the way you envision it. There’s always — ALWAYS — a plot twist.
Life never happens exactly the way you envision it. There’s always — ALWAYS — a plot twist.
So now, here I am: a 26-year-old Black woman who is still single and still living at home with her parents. Whew! There. I said it.
I know some of y’all are judging me. I don’t blame you. I mean, after all, most folk my age are either a) financially independent, b) boo’d up/engaged/married, c) having a kid with their bae/fiancé(e)/spouse, or d) all of the above. And given the fact that I fall into not nan one of those categories, I honestly can’t see how anyone wouldn’t be judging me right now.
I can’t even front — writing about my current life situation has me low-key judging myself a lil bit. Especially given the fact that I live in a generation where acquiring financial success and independence straight out of college is considered an absolute MUST. My sister, Erin, who just graduated from our beloved alma mater Howard University (HU!) earlier this year, actually wrote an amazing blog post about her experience with returning home after college. But for me, it’s been over four years since I moved back home, so my situation is a wee bit different.
To be honest, I’ve been asking myself some of the same questions some of y’all are probably asking right now, like: How are you 26 years old with a full-time job and still living at home with your parents? When are you gonna move out? Why the heck is it so hard for you to meet a fine, available, God-fearing, ambitious, brown-skinned young brotha that’s at least six feet tall and got his ish together? OK, so maybe y’all weren’t necessarily wondering that last question, but y’all get my point.
Anyway, here are a few answers I’ve come up with so far:
Q: Why am I still living with my parents at 26 years old?
A: I guess because I’m trying to take full advantage and save as much money as humanly possible, so by the time I am ready to move out, I’ll have a nice little nest egg and I won’t be swimming in a slew of debt. Plus, getting some good traveling in while I’m still young and not completely financially tied down is cool, too. I’ve been blessed to be able to travel comfortably to places like Mexico and Barbados this year without having to worry about being bogged down with a ton of financial obligations. And my parents have been a HUGE blessing. They always encourage me to save my money and make sound financial decisions. So just to let y’all know, I’m not just sitting around my parents’ house twiddling my thumbs with my feet kicked up. I pay bills. I contribute around the house. I follow a budget (most of the time). I have a plan. But at the same time, I’m not gonna put unnecessary pressure on myself — and my pockets — to move out simply because most people my age already have their own spot. That’s dead.
Q: When am I gonna move out?
A: When I’m ready. And by that I mean when I’m ready to buy a condo or house — not rent an apartment. Who knows? It could be next year, it could be in the next two years, or it could be when the Lord sees fit for me to finally meet my future mystery husband and get married (which will hopefully be at some point before I turn 30). Whichever one comes first.
Q: You still ain’t got no man?
Q: Why not?
A: Because God ain’t through with me yet. (For more details on why I’m single, click here to read a formal interview I conducted with myself last year.)
Moral of the Story: I’m sure there are plenty of times when your life didn’t turn out exactly the way you planned. And there are probably many times when you’ve looked at your current situation and compared it to those around you who appear to have it better than you. But one thing you’ve got to realize is that everyone’s journey is different. You are exactly where you need to be at this moment in your life in order for you to get to the next phase that God has in store for you. So at this point, I’m continuing to trust God, embrace my journey, and not allow the pressures of society or the lives of others to deter me from living — and loving — my life.