Our 22-year daughter hasn’t lived at home since the summer of her freshman year in college. Four years worth of clothes, books and apartment life are now jammed packed in her small 15 by 10 foot bedroom. I can tell this transition will be much more challenging for her than it will be for us.
With one week under the same roof together, we have not yet gotten into a rhythm. Routines seemingly so insignificant are noticed once again; sharing a drawer in the bathroom, making a full pot of coffee instead of a half, parking in the driveway. And more.
For us, it’s making small adjustments to space. For her it’s making large adjustments to her independence, or at this time, lack of it. The fulfillment of successfully completing college in four years with a double major has taken a backseat to “what will I be doing now?” and “when will my education begin to pay off?” She’s too young to know that it already has.
Because she’s sensitive and considerate, there is an obvious effort to do extra chores and help out. I appreciate that, but I see a longing in her eyes for her own space, her own daily routine, her own financial independence, all the while trying to be grateful and appreciative of her opportunities.
The daily search for a job has become her job. Too bad that doesn’t pay. A rejection letter feels like a personal affront, yet there is an understanding of the competition and the general malaise of the economy. Every positive response and interview is what keeps her going.
Many years ago I too was searching, and not just for a job. What do I want to do? Where do I want to live? And, most importantly, who am I? These were the thoughts that would drift in and out of my head as I turned the to the Wanted Ads in the newspaper.
So as she fires up her computer, clicks on Craigslist, Monster Jobs, and all the other clever job posting sites, I’m sure she’s thinking the same things.
Do we ever really know?