Here are all the things I wish I had known before saying goodbye to the comfort of homecooked meals, Sunday sing-alongs, and my childhood bedroom.
Leaving the comfort of your parents’ home and venturing into the world of independence is a significant milestone in life. Whether you’re off to college, launching your career, or setting out on a new adventure, moving out on your own is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
When you’re part of a Filipino household, you may consider yourself fortunate to head out in the first place. I was no exception, as my life seemed to be neatly packed into balikbayan boxes the moment I had the opportunity. But still, as exciting as it can be, moving our of your parents’ home can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. If you’re planning to move out soon, here are all the things to take into account. I know I wish I had known these before saying goodbye to the comforts of home-cooked meals, Sunday sing-alongs, and my childhood bedroom, in exchange for the freedom of having my personal space.
Lesson no. 1: It’s Not ‘For Free’
Now, that paycheck you receive is no longer meant for splurging on late-night online shopping sprees. It’s time to realize that maintaining the cozy life you were accustomed to demands extra effort and financial responsibility. If you’re moving out, prioritize appliances, bathroom essentials, and groceries over those Pinterest-worthy posters and tiny trinkets.
That bed you sleep on, the fridge full of goodies, and the utensils you used back home – none of it appeared for free. All the responsibility now falls on you. The moment you officially step into adulthood, it dawns on you that every item in your home has been purchased and paid for. It may sound obvious, but the reality does hit like a truck. It’s funny because this was the first lesson I learned after moving out. Honestly, how didn’t it click that I had to snag some furniture for myself?
Lesson no. 2: Bills on the Kitchen Counter
Speaking of financial decisions, let’s talk about the dreaded arrival of bills and pending payments. Electricity, rent, water—those envelopes with your name on will start spreading on the kitchen counter. And when you’re keeping track of due dates, math suddenly becomes a go-to subject.
Now, no longer relying on our parents to make those pesky payments disappear is another lesson learned. I guess it’s one of those rites of adulthood. On the brighter side, think of this as proof that you can manage your life, make smart choices, and master the art of adulting.
Lesson no. 3: You’re Not Saying Goodbye to Cleaning and Chores
I recall thinking to myself that I’m free from ‘mga utos ni mama.’ Here’s the plot twist: you will find yourself with more chores. Sure, you’re finally doing your dishes whenever you want and probably hitting the laundromat from time to time, but adulthood doesn’t come with a ‘get-out-of-chores-free’ card. If you could say ‘wait lang‘ back then, you can’t say goodbye to cleaning and chores this time around.
Your newfound independence means that the responsibilities of maintaining a clean and organized space rest on your shoulders. It’s not always about freedom; this lesson teaches you the value of self-sufficiency and taking pride in your personal space.
Lesson no. 4: Sometimes, You’re Not a ‘Strong Independent Woman’, And That’s Okay
When we often hear the phrase ‘strong, independent woman’ proudly resonating, you will learn that you’re not always Miss Independent once you’re out of the family home. From being a working student, supporting myself through college, and moving out at 22, I used to think I could do everything alone—now, not anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still strong for getting this far, but there are days when you will need your mom for comfort or your dad to protect you. I remember crying because I built a cabinet for my high heels, and I had nobody with me. Before moving far from home, condition your mind that there are times when we grapple with uncertainty, self-doubt, and the need for support which we can’t get 24/7. Yes, even when you’re at your lowest.
It’s essential to recognize that seeking help, whether it’s emotional, financial, or practical, doesn’t diminish your independence or strength. Being a ‘strong, independent woman’ doesn’t mean doing everything alone; it’s a reminder that it’s perfectly normal to lean on others from time to time when you have people who are willing to help.
Lesson no. 5: Mouse Moments
The newfound sense of freedom means hanging out with friends whenever you like, doing things on your own terms, and finally having your personal space. It’s exciting and all that but nobody stops to think about having dinner alone and these seemingly mundane moments that can suddenly influence your transition to a new way of life.
When you might think you’re alone now, the truth is you’re on your own—and that’s a beautiful thing. These mouse moments allow you to discover yourself, develop self-reliance, and appreciate being your own best companion. While the thrill of newfound independence is invigorating, always remember to savor these instances of solitude that accompany it.
Lesson no. 6: You Will Miss Out Most of the Time
When you finally move out, the initial rush of independence is looking out for everything that’s in front of you that you forget what you’re leaving behind. In the hustle and bustle of this new chapter of life, one hard-hitting lesson stands out—you’re going to miss out on a lot. Whether it’s your family’s fur baby or the daily check-ins with your parents, FOMO becomes a regular visitor in your room. You find yourself scrolling through social media, seeing snapshots of those gatherings, celebrations, and brunches you couldn’t attend, and the small pang of regret stings.
But here’s the kicker: this lesson teaches you that sometimes, missing out is all part of adulting. It’s about prioritizing responsibilities, making sacrifices, and understanding that there’s a bigger picture at play. You’ll miss out most of the time, but that’s just the trade-off for the adventures and personal growth that come with independence. After all, you’re doing this for yourself.
Lesson no. 7: You Will Finally Think That Your Parents are ‘Right’
After moving out of your parents’ home, there’s a moment when you pause, reflect, and realize that, perhaps for the first time, they were right all along. Their advice, which may have seemed outdated, suddenly starts making sense. Whether it’s the insistence on budgeting, the importance of a well-balanced diet, or those curfews that felt like an imposition, you begin to realize and appreciate the reason behind the nagging. It’s a realization that will bring a smile to your face as you recognize the love and concern that drove their well-intentioned advice. Like, you wouldn’t be here without them.
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