Our culture isn’t really big on children moving out of their parents’ house. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Filipino in the Philippines or a Filipino in a different country. If you’re living with your parents, you have to have a damn good reason to move out or else, hindi ka papayagan.
But what’s a good reason to move out? When do you know when it’s the right time? More importantly, how do you know you’re ready?
Here are the answers, at least for me.
Living with your parents is pretty convenient. It’s cozy and familiar. In most cases, it’s actually more practical. There’s no rent, you don’t spend for utilities, you don’t have to worry about your next meal. Someone’s always there to tend to you when you’re sick. You can get little allowances here and there (“Dad, pahingi naman konting pang-gas o”). You get to be a kid for as long as you want.
But that’s just it. You stay a kid, not an adult.
At some point, you’ll get tired of answering questions like “Anong oras ka uuwi?”“Kakain ka ba dito?” and “San ka galing?”.You know they mean well, but you’ll begin to realize that the comfort of living with your parents isn’t really free. You’re ‘paying’ with your independence.
It’s not about being ungrateful. But you’ll realize that you want to be free from having to explain yourself or from feeling guilty about the God-honest truth na gusto mo lang humiga buong araw and not do anything productive, especially on your days off.
When you begin to want your independence more than convenience, that’s a very good reason to move out. That’s when you know you’re ready. At least emotionally. It’s something you want to do for yourself more than something that you want to prove to them.
So now you’ve realized why you want to be on your own, when’s the right time to do it? It’s tricky, but the truth is, like a lot of other things in life, there’s no real right time. You can and should consider what it will take (finances especially), but you can’t always plan it out perfectly.
The right time will always be now. The only thing about ‘now’ is if you’re capable of doing so financially. But emotionally, you’re going to have doubts every now and then. You’re going to question your ability to sustain yourself. You’re going to ask yourself if it’s worth it to give up the comfort and convenience.
You’re going to go back and forth through the pros and cons. You’re going to keep counting your money in the bank and calculating your monthly expenses when you move out. You’re going to rundown the luxuries you’ve been used to and ask yourself if you can live without them. You’ll feel bad at the reality of your budget. You’re going to tell yourself to wait until your paycheck is bigger, you’ve paid off your car, you’ve paid off your insurance, etc etc.
And if you allow yourself to keep doing that, you’re never going to take that first step. For most people, your paycheck will never get ‘bigger’ enough as there will always be new expenses at every level of adulting. You never really pay off everything as long as you’re alive because bills always come. And there’s never going to be a time when there’s no risk of failure.
You can plan it only up to a certain point. Beyond that, that’s where life happens.
The truth of all that is there’s no feeling quite like being on your own. As scary as it might be to actually look at a dwindling bank account, to eat crackers for dinner out of sheer laziness or budget cuts, and to make do with not having a maid to clean your room, at least you’ll be doing it in the comfort of your own place with no one to interrupt your reverie asking “hindi ka pa ba babangon jan?”, and you’ll smile because you don’t have to.