I’m 26 & I still live with my dad.
I moved back after graduating college and haven’t been able to move out. My boyfriend and I are getting our own place this year, so I figured it was the perfect time to reflect on my last 5 years of perpetual adolescence in the eyes of my father.
I love my dad, but I hate him too. This isn’t my favorite part of our story, as father-daughter, but it is what it is…
At 21, I graduated college with a B.A. in Writing Arts from Rowan University and honors in my sociology minor, but I’m currently back in “school” to get the certification necessary for the job I want: a preschool teacher.
Like many people my age, I was told I would end up back at “home,” but home is far from where I live. I live in poverty under my dad’s roof & he does not let me forget it.
I’ve always been fairly good with money & I’ve only gotten better as I’ve gotten older. I did not spend my entire post grad time saving to move out, but I have been chipping away at my debt while building up my credit score & trying to enjoy my 20s. (Even tho every time I try to my dad guilts me by saying I could’ve saved that money to move & how he never goes on vacation or on day trips & that’s why he has his own house.)
His generation was taught & have forced onto is the idea of leaving the nest as soon as possible & forever:
“As a full-grown adult one should live independently – whether on one’s own or with a partner. Moreover, after leaving home, the expectation is that one should not return. However, this is the age of the boomerang generation – in which large numbers of young and not-so-young adults find themselves living with their parents again. Social reality is at odds with social expectation, with millions of individuals caught between the two.”https://unherd.com/2018/11/created-boomerang-generation/
I work hard everyday. I’ve taken one sick day all year & everyone was shocked. “She never calls out,” they said & they’re right. I never call out because if I do, I don’t get paid. I’m a special education teacher’s aide employed thru ESS. I work full time, but am treated like a part time employee. Because I don’t make enough money working one full time job, I also have a part time job. Even still, I’m undoubtedly impoverished.
While many cultures are centered around the idea of multi-generational homes, American culture does not. American culture from start to finish is about independence & self sufficiency, anything less isn’t the American Dream. (Note the extreme sarcasm)
Both by accident and design, we used to live in a society that helped (and also pressured) individuals to put the pieces together. We no longer live in such a society… We’ve let other priorities intrude: in education, a longer and much more expensive process of obtaining qualifications; in employment, policies to hold down entry-level wages; in personal finance, encouraging the young to build up debts not savings; in housing, the interests of the rentier economy.https://unherd.com/2018/11/created-boomerang-generation/
Life changes drastically for every generation of adults. Every generation will face a set of problems caused by their predecessor & will cause a set of problems for their successor. As individuals we must come together to solve these problems, even as they try to divide us further.
Poverty is a national crisis that needs to be addressed on a federal level. The only way we’re allowed to participate on the federal level is by voting.
You know what to do this November.
Dear self-righteous boomer,
I love you, but I hate you. My life isn’t perfect & you never let me forget it. While you brag about my life achievements to your peers, you belittle me to my face. Your life isn’t perfect, but you never let me forget how much more you have than I. You act as if I choose to battle with mental & physical illness; as if I choose to be as underpaid as I am; as if I choose to still love with you. The only thing I choose not to do is pay you any money for rent because I pay tenfold with my sanity. You say you choose to allow me to live here, as if I was given a choice being brought into your world in the first place. You act like don’t work 10 hour days to be out of this house as much as possible. You’ve convinced yourself I should be utterly thankful that I live here & have nothing to complain about. Even tho since I’ve moved in anything of mine put in a common area has been broken, every time I clean the house y’all make a mess and then act like I do nothing when I stop cleaning up after you, & I have to listen to your fucking noise from 5am to 11pm. You speak of me like I’ve been entitled my whole life, but you never allowed me to be. Everything I have in life, I’ve earned by myself. You think you’ve supported me throughout everything my entire life. While your finances have been much appreciated, the abuse I have endured for needing your help thru college wasn’t worth it. I’d rather have more loans. You’ve offered to help me but a house, but only if I put your name on the deed. Tho my car’s title is in my name & I register and insure it, you still act like you can take it away. You talk to me like I’m a child. You’re an asshole. But you’re still my father. I love you but back the fuck off. You don’t get the right to make me feel bad about myself because I’m working poor. Your generation did this & you sure as fuck won’t fix it, so shut up & I will.
Overworked underpaid millennial