After 18, summer and winter breaks were the only times of the year I spent more than a weekend at my mom’s. The reason being that my bedroom was no longer a permanent fixture, but more a seasonal pop up shop. Childhood mementos not taken to college were out back in a shed. Today I treat them like Schrödinger’s cat thanks to some battles fought with termites and rain. I hope one day to recover well kept Backstreet Boys memorabilia and yearbooks full of photographic proof of my most masculine looking years. If intact they’ll make their way to a new city, but back to where they are now.
If I could live anywhere in the world, it would not be Cabazon, CA. As a kid I loved playing outdoors and can look back now and appreciate we didn’t have constricted backyards, but rather spacious deserts and mountains – but I was never meant to be there long. At only five-years-old I vowed to move when I could, and I did. Then when I realized winter breaks spent in the dorm would be a little lonely, I’d head home and be bored out of my mind for about a month. There is forever very little to do in that town if you aren’t into outlet shopping and gambling. So I always found myself sitting in whichever space was designated mine for the time being. thinking about what I could be doing if I wasn’t there; going to Hollywood, walking on actual sidewalks, being free.
Jail, I’ve never been and my knowledge of the big house is resides in a couple of years writing to my stepbrother who was serving time, and intense binge sessions with Orange is the New Black. With all that in mind, I can assume living at home, living in the place I grew up, that is what prison feels like. Freedom is not something I thought of when I was periodically stuck there and that’s why, no matter how hard life gets out on my own, I could never see myself moving back. Let’s never say never because we’ve all seen Bridesmaids (if you haven’t, I give you permission to stop right here and view – but do come back) and later on I’ll dive into my life mirroring Annie Walker’s, but for right now let’s just say…anyone can fall on hard times and have to depend on mom and/or dad again. I just hope my life doesn’t get that dismal.
That’s the thing though, there are times when I think, yup…this is it. Next month I’ll have to bail and move back because my bank account is a joke to anyone above the age of 25. Currently I make enough to slide by each month. There is very little wiggle room, but I’m making it. In the last year I’ve had to go on Welfare and that was a hit to the gut. A college degree and I’m no better off than if I’d not spent four years earning a degree that now sits at my mom’s because what do I need it for? Anyways, money is not something I have a ton of and spending $2 on a sweater from a thrift store is now splurging to me. Here’s the thing though, I make it work with very little because that’s how I was raised; check to check.
One day last year I’d had it. I laid on the couch, tears rolling down my face, texts of despair sent over and over to my worried boyfriend. I’ve gotten used to being the poor kid. Looking back at middle and high school, it was clear that in my social circle – I wasn’t the most well off. Today that’s more or less, nope – exactly the same. It usually doesn’t bother me, but I’d seen multiple Facebook posts about vacations, new clothes and so forth and so on and it hit me. My boyfriend offered up some wise words that stopped the tears, but that feeling of despair then turned to anger and then I decided to shower and watch The Walking Dead. In that Rick was going on about the people living inside the wall and he said, “They just lived. They haven’t had to survive.” Here I was mad about friends who could afford to do this and that because they still lived at home and were void of rent and bills eating up their finances, and this dude put it in perspective. Yeah, they can be all smiles with their materialistic things, but how would they fare in reality when having to choose rent over a weekend trip to somewhere I live through thanks to Instagram?
My childhood home is no longer mine and that’s okay because it doesn’t feel that way anymore, and the coroner would rule my death “Caused by Boredom” if I ever had to move back. That’s why I work really hard (even though my wallet would tell another tale) to stay on my own because what’s the point of living if you never adjust to surviving it all?