It is not uncommon for Hollywood comedies to feature someone who has little friends, no significant other and basically no social life to speak of still living under the same roof as his parents even after he turns 21. The western practice of moving out of the parents' house the moment one enters adulthood can be found in so many movies and television series that it's not surprising if Asians youth are starting to accept and aspire to this kind of lifestyle. Yes, no doubt I'm an Asian, (but not saying that I'm proud to be one-.-) and I harbour certain images of myself moving out from my parents' when I ultimately reach 21. I harbour the fantasy of having my own little place to stay, of course definitely far far away from my homeland.
Frankly speaking, I'm not ashamed to say that I've often toyed with the idea of moving out after having a row with my parents over the littlest things. From leaving my mug on the table to the heap of clothes piled on the floor, you name it, we've often argued about it (but of course, I can't be bothered to even create a conversation with them). I've got better things to do at home.
Surprisingly, when I was younger, perhaps around my early primary school days, these things didn't bother me at all. I simply submitted to my mom and dad's authority and listened to whatever they said. Now that I'm an adult, however, these seemingly trivial squabbles have suddenly become an issue of personal freedom and space. If you are like me - already considered an adult, yet still a student living off from parents, you would probably share my struggle between feeling like a grown-up one hand and a child on the other. Switching between the two is a pain, to say the least. In my eyes, my parents are not longer omniscient. Yet, they still behave like they are, and that I should abide by their rules. I can only think of one simple solution to this predicament: moving out would not only grant me unlimited freedom, it would also validate my existence as a mature adult, at the ripe old age of 21.
That being said, there's always the issue of money. Without it, dreams remain just that - the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the castle in the clouds, and maybe even a delusion. Being a cash-strapped tertiary student, the only way I can afford a place to call my own would be to work part-time, rent somewhere cheap, and split the cost with roommates. But how practical is that? School takes up so much of my time, and then studying for exams, chilling out with friends and enjoying myself are way higher on my agenda that working to pay for the rent.
Okay, perhaps I'm plain lazy, but working life would hit me soon anyway. I'll probably be spending the next few decades pushing papers under the harsh fluorescent lights of a freezing office cubicle to pay off bills, loans and what-have-yous.
Well, I've set myself a target: if all goes well, I'll be living on my own when I reach mid 20s. By that time, I'd have paid off my tuition loans, have a job with a steady income, and hopefully have learnt to manage my finances properly. Until then, the issues of personal freedom and space will always be gnawing at me. The thought of being stifled until I get hitched is simply too much to bear.
Ultimately, deciding when to move out is a personal decision. Everyone has a different situation at home, and more importantly different family structure and background. If life was a Hollywood movie, I'd be most probably be living on my own in my own trendy apartment, hanging out and spending time with my significant other, sipping ridiculously-priced wines nightly. But for now, I'll have to settle for my whatever is at home, and feeling like a kid under my parents' roof.
gooodnight and gooodmorning.
inspired by CLEO