Yesterday I told a group of law students that in my first year out of law school I lived at home…

When people ask how I made it to where I am now, I explained I lived at home until I literally got my job now. I wasn’t “struggling,” per se, because I was working, and I could have moved out. I had big old student loans, big dreams and I was a working artist. I needed to stay home until I could get control of my student loan and credit debts and find a job that paid me what I was worth. (No mean feat in the theater world.) It took 5 years out of college to do that and, frankly, I’d be SO much poorer than I am now without staying home first. I worked 3 unpaid internships and then I full time freelanced AND was a full time bartender at the same time. I drove cars that were 13 years old that I paid cash for and my dad did maintenance on for me. My parents are by no means wealthy, but what they had they gave to me — I am grateful to them beyond words. No one wants to hear that I needed my family to succeed. And especially because they didn’t buy me housing or paid for all of my education. It feels a little bit different than my friends who had that and it’s also a bit weirder to talk about. They did pick up half of my education that FinAid didn’t handle, which was a blessing, and is fine to admit, but the staying home part? I don’t understand the stigma there. (I have a really good family and a really good relationship with them — I am off during summers now and go home to stay for 2–3 weeks each year. I loved living at home. I know that’s really weird. I go home twice a month now and it never feels like enough. My dad has taken up gardening in his retirement and he is not as aggressive with deadheading as I am — how can he expect really spectacular repeat blooms if I don’t go in with the ruthless clippers?! Also, he lets me use the wood chipper and nothing is as good a feeling as that. Home is the absolute best.)

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