Confession: At Age 30, I'm Scared to Move Out of My Mom's House

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Apartment-hunting is notably The Worst™. Everyone knows that. 

As an added deterrent, though, it can be extra  difficult to convince yourself to buck up & undertake the dreadful process of searching for a new place when you're currently residing with your mom, who you happen to like a lot, in a hometown where you feel comfortable & mostly happy.

By "you" & "yourself," in this case I obviously mean "me" & "myself," as this has been the exact story of my life for the past eight months. 

I have to admit: It's been so, so nice living at home since moving back to Ohio at the end of November. There were a rough few weeks there at the beginning, but once I settled in, well, it became a pretty sweet deal: friendly mom, cute dogs, big space, familiar town, &, oh, yeah, no rent. I wanted to find my own place, but I wasn't making active moves toward it. Maybe I should've felt a greater sense of urgency, but for most of the last eight months, I just haven't been in any big hurry to move out again.

But I'm going to turn 31 next month. I feel mostly fine about it; I certainly don't feel like I'm on the verge of some late-night emotional meltdown, as I did in the weeks before I turned 30. As my birthday started to loom nearer, though, I began to feel like I should be moving toward something - like maybe it was time to move out of my mom's house & into my own place in Cleveland, the thing I came home to do.

It's not that I'm embarrassed to be living with my mom. I'm mostly not. I'm not here because I'm down & out & falling apart; I have a full-time, well-paying job, & I made a fiscally smart decision to save money by living here for a bit. On top of that, being in such proximity to my mama, especially after so many years away, has been a dream ("59 out of every 60 minutes," as she likes to say). I told myself I'd stay here until I found something I liked, something that felt right, because it's pretty A-OK here, & I didn't want to rush this & end up in some crummy apartment that I wanted to move out of yet again in 12 months. 

For the last seven months, I felt comfortable with that decision, & I wasn't looking for apartments. Honestly, I wasn't even thinking about looking for apartments, despite the fact that I was still telling people I was "planning to move to Cleveland." Sometime during course of the last month, though, with 31 in the horizon, I started to realize why I wasn't making any forward motion, & it wasn't because I didn't want to. It was because of fear

I wasn't just being fiscally savvy or enjoying living with my mom. I was also inexplicably terrified to strike out on my own again, afraid of falling flat on my face. I was - am- afraid of paying rent again, of not being able to afford things I want, of having to act like a real adult, of the possible loneliness of living on my own, of living in a new city, of maybe not having any friends, of starting over yet again... One of my worst habits is that I am always so afraid of new beginnings, & despite what I thought were my best efforts, this time is no different.

When realized that I had begun to use my "I'm just being responsible!" explanation as an excuse, I also realized that it wasn't resonating with me anymore. During those months when I really meant it, I felt OK about it when I realized that I had begun to use it as a means of getting out of trying - & of possibly failing - I started to feel uneasy. I wanted to move. I was just too scared.

I've always been the kind of person who doesn't until I do. I don't feel compelled to take action until all of a sudden, it feels like time to take immediate action - & this process of finding an apartment was no different. All of a sudden, I decided it was time, & so the hunt began, quickly & with a vengeance.

If you follow me on Instagram or we're friends on Facebook, you probably already know part two of this story: I found an apartment in Cleveland! That is a story for another post, & it's one I plan to write soon. But for now, I'm trying not to panic as the countdown to moving day begins.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm always panicking; that's sort of the point. But I'm also finally taking steps forward. I decided to do this - I came back to do this - & I'm finally about to do it. Fear or not, I will become a Clevelander - this month.

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