How I Overcame The Stigma Of Moving Back Home As An Adult
My pride was shattered.
A year ago, I sucked up my ego and made the decision to move from my beautiful Pinterest board apartment to an upstairs room in my aunt and uncle's house.
This was the very first apartment I had owned outside of college and it was painful to let it all go.
But the truth is, I was barely making it.
With a job that paid me under $30k a year, it felt impossible to hold my own - let alone pay my debt back.
I wanted to be free from late payments and worried nights. I wanted to know how it felt to buy something without checking my card balance first. My apartment was everything to me but my family offered me a rent-free room and it was an offer I couldn't pass up.
However, the longer I stayed, the more I felt abashed about the fact that I was living at home. Although I kept reminding myself that living with family was the best financial move I could make, there was some sort of unwritten shame about it. And it was a feeling I couldn't shake.
It wasn't like I was an anomaly or anything. In fact, recent studies show that a record number of millennials are moving back in with their parents after college. In other words:
Sallie Mae had everybody broke around here.
But I still couldn't shake the nagging feeling of disappointment.
It just seemed as if everyone was making boss moves without me. With my internal list of expectations growing by the minute, I felt like a failure for not being able to afford the lifestyle I thought I should have after college.
You know - the cute brunches with your girls, those binge-watching Netflix sessions, and doing my best Queen Bey impressions in the mirror. It all felt like a dream then.
So I'll admit, moving in with family definitely created some rough moments.
But through the past year, I've learned to overcome the often nagging emotion of proving your worth to others. What started out as embarrassment transformed into an empowering way to knock out my goals, save some money and grow in ways I never would have if I had it my way.
I have so much peace with my choices and I know that my life is better because of it. If you are struggling with living at home, here are the stages you have to overcome to come out on top:
Shame Here, Shame Everywhere
This is the first real stage of moving back home and I remember being so secretive about it. I didn't want anyone to know that I didn't have my own place. I hated not being able to invite my girls over like I wanted or walk around in my underwear freely. And on top of it all, I had chores. It made me feel like a grown child and these feelings kept me very insecure.
These are obviously natural feelings to experience when we feel out of control over our situation. But don't let the opinions of people create shame for doing something that will benefit you in the long run. I had to constantly remind myself of my why for staying there, which was to dig myself out of a ridiculous hole of student loan debt.
I call this the "Who Am I" stage. After you come to terms with your living situation, you may begin to experience frustration and confusion like I did. I would get so irritated with my family and it wasn't their fault necessarily, I just wanted to be independent. The truth is that it was pride. I missed being able to come home without worrying about a respectable time or to just cook for myself.
What I learned was that inviting in frustration also opens the door to its homegirl - distraction. You become so busy trying to distract yourself from the feeling of failure that you don't take the time to work on your gifts and dreams. Be on guard for this emotion and take isolated self-care days when needed. When I really needed a break, I would plan a staycation with a nice hotel room.
Fake Happy Vibes
Okay so maybe this is just me, but I went through a serious period of faking my happiness. I lost sight of my goal to save money and began using it up to buy clothes, eat out, and everything in between. Every picture on Instagram required a "quality" amount of attention so that I could reassure myself that life was good.
I realized that this was my way of "making up" where I felt I lacked in having control over my own space. The things I ran to only brought me temporary joy but my past emotions always crept up again to put me in a state of sadness.
Hope For the Future
I had to finally have a come-to-Jesus moment with myself. I didn't move home to mooch off my family - I was there to save up, work hard, and put myself in a position to win indefinitely. Realize that your situation is only as powerful as the thoughts you feed it. While I was dipping and dodging questions about living with my folks, I could have used that mental space to draw out the battle plan for moving on up - and moving on out.
I began to grow my relationship with God and he showed me that he was stripping me of pride, shame, and even the need to prove myself to others. This wasn't about the move at all. It was about my constant need to validate myself through people. The 'A-Ha' moment was a true turning point for me and I started working harder than ever.
Free Like Cardi B
The truth to all these stages is that they are fueled by a deep need to impress others and achieve this imaginary bar of success. When you decided to move back home, it was the best decision for YOU and it's so powerful to own that. Your bills are low, so your focus should be high. I became so free in my decision to save money that my little room actually brought me joy.
Since overcoming the initial stages of moving back home, I've been able to pay off huge loans and credit cards, grow closer to my family, and pursue the things I love like freelance writing. I've learned to work with what I have until I am ready to be elevated for more. Your freedom doesn't come through an apartment, it comes through your inner ability to stay the course.
I know you are anxious to be out on your own. I also know it secretly bothers you to see everyone "making it" while you seem to barely get by.
But you are exactly where you need to be.
Grab some fresh flowers, turn on some of your favorite jams, and set the tone for all the greatness that you are about to receive.
Because it's coming.
xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured image by Shutterstock
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Alaina is a Las Vegas freelance writer and founder of the website GlowSZN, a post-grad survival blog for the lit and educated. Embracing the raggedy moments of adulthood, she is always looking to push the narrative of growth in God, becoming financially free and owning your truth in your 20's. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter at @hotlaina_.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There are moments on our health journey when our bodies are bugging us to hit the reset button.
With life, we can start to see slips in our diet, irregular exercising, and inconsistent sleep schedules, and our mental health can suffer because of it. But what many people come to find is that with just a few adjustments — as opposed to restrictions — being made to their food intake, we can see a focus more on eating “the right” calories and less on being on a restrictive diet.
"Raw Till 4" is a dietary concept and lifestyle associated with the raw vegan and high-carb, low-fat vegan (HCLF) movements. Created by Australian blogger and YouTube star known as 'Freelee the Banana Girl', the method suggests eating raw, uncooked plant-based foods until 4 p.m. each day and then having a cooked, vegan meal in the evening.
The Raw Till 4 lifestyle follows the guidelines of vegan and rawist eating and involves consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains in an uncooked, natural state until the designated time of 4 p.m. or around one’s typical dinner time. After 4 p.m., a cooked vegan meal is consumed, which may include foods like steamed vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based sources of protein like tofu or tempeh.
On TikTok, creator Adina Yaffa is repopularizing the trend, sharing how it’s helped to improve digestion, boost energy levels, and support weight loss.
Replying to @🌜kat🌛 here is what I eat in a day on a raw till 4 lifestyle. I eat with the sun and according to the circadian rhythm that out bodies follow on a typical day. Where i drink liquids during the first 8 hours, then juicy fruits, then smoothies, more dense building fats, proteins and veggies! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass #rawtill4
“During the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., your body is in an elimination phase and needs all the help it can get,” Yaffa says in the clip. “So what you’re going to do is drink coconut water, citrus juices, and green juices during this time, and around 8 a.m., you can break your fast with some fruit. I suggest juicing fruits, and then after that, I suggest having a smoothie or a bowl with berries and granola so you can get your fats and healthy proteins in.”
Raw till 4 has so many benefits including better digestion, nutrients, belly fat and bloat elimination, snatched waist, more energy and so much more! #snatchedwaist #bellyfat #bellybloat #smallwaist #hourglass
On the official Raw Till 4 website, Freelee the Banana Girl shares tips on how to get the best outcomes of this lifestyle change, which include:
- “Stay hydrated! You should pee about 8-12 times per day, and your urine should be clear. Drink 1 liter of water when you wake up in the morning, and 1 liter of water about 30 minutes before each meal for optimal results.”
- “Fragmented sodium (salt) should be kept to a minimum. Use herbs, lemon juice, etc. wherever possible in place of salt.”
- “Eat unlimited calories at every meal, no restriction. The majority of your calories each day should come from fruit. Don’t under-eat on fruit during the day or 'save up' your calories for dinner time. RT4 is about abundance at every meal.”
- “Move your body daily. Find an activity you love and make it your playful exercise.”
- “Make sure to get lots of rest, relaxation, and good sleep. Learning to incorporate good rest, early nights, and regular sleeping patterns into your life will greatly improve your overall health.”
- “Practice gratitude and peaceful emotions at mealtime, and get a vision book started! Be sure to enjoy this journey. Focus on long-term health instead of short-term results.”
Critics argue that it can be challenging to get all the necessary nutrients from a raw vegan diet and that it may not be suitable for everyone, especially over the long term.
As with any diet, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant dietary changes to ensure that it meets your individual nutritional needs and health goals.
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