You might want to skip this post if you don’t want to hear a lot of inconsequential blah about me as a human being and my living arrangements. It’s boring but the so-called ‘boomerang’ generation seems to be a modern taboo subject which I’d like to tackle for the sake of representation, as well as to set a tone of honesty about me and this blog.
To Fake It Or Not To Fake It
Before starting this blog, I researched a LOT. By reading dozens of blog posts about ‘how to start a blog’ and the like, I came to the realisation that: 1. SEO, more like SOB, and 2. I couldn’t distinguish one blog post or one blogger from the other. They were all by married mothers (and that was their ‘niche’) who were living an extremely photogenic life and seem to make 5k+ a month through their blog, probably through affiliate links flogging Bluehost, I really don’t know. Bluehost affiliate links are like a meme now. I’m not with Bluehost so I won’t be subjecting you to any of that.
Anyway, I am not one of those bloggers and don’t fit into a typical blog of that kind. I’m single and happily so through choice. I have no children, never plan to, and my house is a chaotic mess liberally sprinkled with dog hair. It would take me hours to make a small area of space acceptable by the standards held by blog gurus. I’d have to re-plaster and paint the walls for a start, and for one mad moment, I was actually considering doing this in order to fit in. It didn’t take long for me to realise that faking the perfection that I see everywhere online would be a full-time job in itself. I can only be myself and hope that I can be accepted as such, so here’s some real talk.
‘Boomerangs’: the 21st Century’s Secret Shame?
Despite the number of single people over 20 who are still living with, or have returned to live with their parents is at a record high and is estimated at one in four (in the UK at least) and half of the European population under 30, there is very little reflection of this demographic online. These people are as shamed and pitiful as the side-character spinster or eccentric, lazy bachelor at the grand old age of 25 in a Jane Austen novel, doomed to be on the shelf and unhappy living with their parents. In 2019, newspapers attributes it to mollycoddled millennials messing up in every way possible, because they can’t even leave home unless they’re kicked out, presumedly to perish in a gutter in confusion.
Well… no, and I want to help turn that on its head. I am one of those people who is over 20 and living with their parents. Every person has different reasons for it, but I can only speak about my case. I stress that this is not a sob story and I am not sad about it in the least. This is just an honest recap of my life and circumstances. It’s sad that I feel some urge to explain it, but the lack of representation and the shaming views towards it has driven me to it.
Every Story is Different
For me, like many others, I suspect, it’s an issue of money. I can’t, as a single person, even in full-time employment, afford to rent or get a mortgage for a property. I could wait for a council flat and hope that I’d be allowed to keep pets, but they probably wouldn’t, and I’m not leaving my dogs, dog hair and all. Someone else needs that council flat more than I do, and besides, the main reason that I haven’t done that is because my parents wouldn’t be able to manage without my income.
My family supports each other and I feel incredibly fortunate to have such a strong family unit. I’m an only child and my parents and I are very close, and they respect that I don’t need parenting now. I have a small family of just my mum and dad, and I’m proud that I’m able to help support them as they’ve supported me in the past. My dad is now retired and my mum is unable to work due to disability. This has obviously made paying bills, including a mortgage, more difficult.
They supported me emotionally and financially through childhood, college, and when I was a penniless student at university. They supported me when I was suffering from a period when my auto-immune disease left me hemiplegic and in constant pain from chronic migraines for a time, unable to drive, work, or fully care for myself, let alone draw or write. My depression during that time was incredibly painful, and I honestly can say that I would not be here were it not for my parents. I’m incredibly thankful to have them. I have not been fortunate enough to have a significant other who would have the patience to put up with me at my worst. It just hasn’t happened for me, but I’m not tearing my hair out over it.
I’ve recovered enough now that I can resume working my day job as well as focus on my art and writing (after a year of being unable to do either), and I intend to. I’m filled with determination and enthusiasm to live life, grateful that I can get out of bed and walk around without a cane, and that I can think clearly and do all the things that I love doing. If I magically inherited a million pounds, then of course I would immediately buy my own house, but first I would pay off the current joint mortgage I share with my parents. I’d make sure that they’re ok and debt free.
Honesty Without Shame
So there’s not much else to say. I’d just rather be honest from the get go and do away with any self-imposed pressure to create something false; not that I’m suggesting that the bloggers I described at the beginning of this post are false – they just have that life and it’s very admirable. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world. Their life isn’t what I’d choose for myself, even if situation factors were completely different, but maybe I’m an oddity in that way.
I just know that I’m not alone, and although our reasons may be different, it’s not shameful to live with your parents. For me, I have the freedom of any other single woman living with flatmates. I wash my own clothes, do my own chores, pay household bills, buy and make my own food, and all the other things society may think that I don’t have to do because my parents will do it for me. They won’t and I wouldn’t want them to. I’m an incredibly independent individual. I have what I think of as a flat within a house and my parents call me ‘The Lodger’ as a joke. Though I know that people may find all this difficult to understand or believe because all ‘boomerangs’ are lazy and inept, it doesn’t matter to me because it’s my truth.
I personally haven’t experienced much if any negativity about my situation. People understand and respect it, and that’s how it should be. I have amazing friends and I’m not seen as a leper of some kind, but that’s not true for everyone. If you’re in a similar situation through choice or necessity, let’s start a discussion about the pros and cons and the representation of the boomerang generation in the media.
- Relevant article that’s actually positive: