Saturday, June 30, 2012
I'm 25 and live with my parents. I feel ashamed. Should I?
Probably. I mean, there is probably something you should feel ashamed about, but I am not sure it's this. I am not sure you're asking the right question, though. Depending on why you are still living at home (or back home, as the case may be) better questions might be:
When will I move out? Do I like living here? If not, how can I move out and when? etc etc.
Why are you at home? Did you ever leave? How long do you plan to stay? Are you helping around the house? Paying for anything?
Sometimes people have to move back home. I dropped out of college, having nearly lost my mind living in Eugene, Oregon, which is pretty much the end of the world. I moved back home for a few months and then moved out. Here's a story about that. Sometimes shame is a useful emotion if it will motivate you to change. Shame is an alarm. Listen to it, do something, then shut it off.
I don't think you need to feel shame unless you've moved back home and you are not making yourself useful. If you don't appreciate your parents' generosity, you aren't pulling your weight around the house, you aren't looking for work, and you're not making progress toward some goal (which includes moving out and being independent), then yeah, be ashamed.
I used to be more staunch about people not moving back home. I sort of still am. But then I think of places like Italy, where kids still frequently live with their parents until they get married. I think Lena Dunham still lives at home.
Why do you feel shame? I don't think it's useful. What do you want instead? I would focus on that rather than the shame. Shame and pity are the worst emotions. Do what you can to eliminate them. And unless you're a really awful person, you are too young for shame. Be useful and kind - to yourself and others - and you won't feel shame wherever you live.
Image: Traditional Home