Tuesday, February 17, 2015


My recipe for self-sufficiency, ready to be cooked!
My mother’s favorite thing to tell me is that I’ll never survive on my own if I don’t learn how to cook, clean, and be attractive (yes, apparently this is a life skill). My usual response to that is an eyeroll as I continue to nom on my cold pizza leftovers from last night. The words “cook” and “clean” are all the more cringeworthy when they come from my mother, who has my unrequited love but is also the but of all my teenage angst and thus I must despise any life lesson she tries to instill in me. However, after you take away the doting motherliness, my mom has a pretty good point.
If I had to go live alone right now, I’d drown in my own tears from how pathetic my existence would be.
Originally on weheartit.com, found on allthingsalice.tumblr.com
I can cook. Nay, I enjoy to cook. But I enjoy cooking when I have time for it, and ain’t nobody got the time to cook two or three meals for themselves every day and buy groceries. Oh, wait, but adults have the time.

I can clean. I’m used to vacuuming my room after my mother asks three times (three’s the magic number) and making my bed in the morning. But I wouldn’t clean a whole apartment on my own.

I am tragically un-self-sufficient. I suspect I’m not the only one, wink wink.

Like many other soon-to-be adults, I have the skills necessary to support myself. Unlike many friends, I can cook and clean and I’ve lived on my own for short periods of time. The issue is that I can’t keep up those good habits for very long. It’s like the difference between running a mile and running a marathon. Running a mile is living alone for a week; the first few days are tough, but it’s totally manageable and you don’t break too much of a sweat. A marathon is gruelling, and just as you finish one mile, you realize there’s still 25 to go. The marathon demands a type of endurance that you can’t experience until you're halfway through the run.

How do you learn to run a marathon? You start by running a mile, and then slowly building that up until you’re prepared to try your first marathon. In high school, I started taking more responsibility around the house, whether that be walking the dog after school or doing the dishes after dinner. I became responsible for cleaning my room and bathroom, helpingout with the laundry, et cetera et cetera. I by no means am completely ready to set off on my own, but at least I have the skills to do so. I can run a few miles, now I just got to build it up.

I’m writing about this because the time is descending upon me when I’ll need to start running the marathon and I want to hit the ground running. In half a year I’ll be in college, living on my own. I’m considering an internship in a different state for the summer which means that I’ll have to move out in four months. That’s terrifying as hell, but it’s a necessity. I don’t want to be the person who still lives in their parent’s basement when they’re 25. The more practice I get on with being on my own, the easier it’ll be.

The first few months of living alone I’m positive will be riddled with phone calls home. I don’t know if I’ll be homesick; I’ve never experienced that before. But I’m 100% positive there’ll be phone calls to my mom asking her if light jeans can be washed with the whites and what to do when the air conditioner breaks. I probably won’t truly appreciate the advice my parents have given me over the years until I have to put it to use and I’ll be struggling to remember their own instructions.

I take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. Virtually all my friends are transitioning into adulthood; just two days ago I was talking to my friend as she signed the lease for her first apartment. At least I’ll be struggling to figure things out with a swath of other people, and we’ll just have to support each other.

1 comment:

  1. Believe me, Stephanie, you are definitely not alone. When I think to myself about the future, my mental calendar basically"stops" when I reach the end of summer and the beginning of college. I think it's mainly because I have no idea how I'll maintain myself once I actually get to college. Because I will be responsible for my own schedule, it's hard to think about some of the things I really focus on now, like music and video games. Hopefully I'll be able to learn from experience; that's one of the things I'm most excited for in college. I'll definitely give you some credit though. It's great that you know how to cook for yourself; the most I can do for myself is pour a bowl of cereal or make a sandwich.