We Should All Move Out at 30
I know this would be anathema for half the SL population and especially for over bearing parents. But in all honesty, Sri Lankans should start moving out from their parental homes after 30 (or even before). Not for any other reason but simply coz you are too old to be still babafied at home, you want your own space and freedom and it debilitates you to a level where you feel you can never be independent.
If you take countries like Australia, US and UK, moving out after school is quite the norm. People move out as young as 18. But this makes you grow up. It’s like how SL kids become so much better at taking care of themselves once they go overseas to study. They know what it is to maintain an abode, to cook, clean, pay bills and balance studies in the process. It’s sort of a pre-prep for life.
For those in SL – this process never happens unless you move out of town to attend uni. What happens is that you become an adult without any of the responsibilities of one. Your meals are prepared and given, your bills are paid, in some instances transport provided and you basically just exist in this cocoon of comfort. From uni you move onto work and it’s the same thing. It’s like a man child or woman child. You are technically an adult and yet you are treated like a child.
Moving out in Sri Lanka has many challenges. Firstly it’s the finances. Coz rent is ridiculously high in Colombo unless your parents have another place to offer you. But then again you are dependent on them in some way and some use this in a sort of emotional blackmail where they guilt trip you. If you can manage your rent, bills and food then moving out should be an option you consider.
For women, safety is a major issue. Living alone can invite all kinds of unnecessary situations but again it depends on where you live and how you manage it. I know several women who do. But it’s not easy. For a man in SL this isn’t really a cause for concern but again caution is important. A healthy neighbourhood and support network is important. Or you can live in an annex of a house so that there are other people you can turn to in an emergency.
The last and not least is convincing the family. Coz only migration and marriage will see your parents allowing you to move out without much ado. But this has to change. It won’t be easy but it’s important that we start thinking this way. Some people move for jobs and convenience and this could be another avenue to explore.
But overall once you move out and live on your own you learn so much about yourself. You also learn to be truly independent. Not where you claim independence coz you drive a car bought by your family, live in a house with food that they provide and enjoy comforts not paid for by you.
This is a much better prep for marriage or even just living life. You also have the space you need to just be alone or with someone (😊) and make decisions and choices for yourself. Coz admit it, after 30, most of us are at constant loggerheads with our parents about where we go, what we do, why aren’t we married etc. And we are at a point in time where some of us are still figuring out what we really want to do with our lives. Not our current jobs or our qualifications. But what is our true calling? And you can’t be figuring that one out with people constantly breathing down your neck and giving you all kinds of well meaning but annoying advice.
Unless your parents are sick and dependent on you physically for help, then moving out should not be a problem. A parent’s clinginess should not be a reason to stay. You are not your mother or father’s emotional prop. This is the kind of toxic environment you should avoid. Plus the sooner you move out the better. So that when they really need your help and care you can be there for them.
So for everyone over 30, please consider this option. You can even move out with a bunch of people or a room mate if you don’t want to go solo at once. It’ll be more cost effective too. But taking that step is important. Your parents can’t run your lives forever. You need to at some point or risk being treated like a kid till you or they die. I know many like that and it’s quite scary and sad to see.
Parents, you should learn to let your children go. One thing I have always valued is that my own parents have always said to go on and make a life for ourselves. They have never said “oh we have done so much now you must give back”. For more understanding of this concept – read Kahlil Gibran’s poem “Children” where he beautifully explains the role of a parent.
And anyway, moving out doesn’t mean you reject your parents. It just means that you need space to grow. And anyone who truly loves you, will respect that.