I moved in with my parents during COVID-19. Now I do not want to go.

Prior to my 15th birthday, my mother turned to me and asked if I would like a traditional quinceanera to celebrate the milestone, or if I would rather have her on my first trip to New York. I chose New York.

Every Mexican will tell you how special and valued the growing party is in our culture, but for me, the decision was an indifferent decision. I had long been fascinated by New York City and was sure I would only fall deeper in love when I finally visited. I was right.

After the first trip, my whole focus shifted to doing everything in my power to return and live there permanently. I worked hard in high school, did all those extra courses, and when the time came, I was very excited to find out that I had been admitted to New York University’s class by 2020.

Flash-forward to May 2020: I was kicked out of my college months earlier, no job prospects at stake, and COVID-19 ran wild while celebrating my graduation through a computer screen from my parents’ bedroom.

Like many of my peers, I had moved in with my parents again. In the months before the coronavirus hit New York, I worked as an intern at a PR company for talents and events, which I hoped would extend a formal full-time offer after my graduation.

Of course, things did not go quite as planned, and I found myself back in my childhood room in Los Angeles, surrounded by the judgmental eyes of the stuffed animals I had left years earlier. In the midst of the collapsing labor market, I could do nothing but wait for the storm to pass and pray that it would not hit home.

I quickly realized that sleeping squeezed, squeezed between my little brother and mom, on the couch after a movie marathon, is not the worst way to spend my days. And while everyone my age regretted not being able to go out to the club, I enjoyed an abundance of homemade meals from my grandmother and occasional trips to Costco. I had lost so much time over the last four years while I was away in college, and living at home gave me some time to catch up and make up for it all.

When I traveled to New York, my little brother, Sean-Carlo, was still in elementary school. Now he’s over 6 feet tall – a fact he regularly teases me and my 5-foot-4 height for – and in his first year of high school. It’s bittersweet, but my little brother has almost grown up and I missed countless birthdays.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that he had tossed his favorite dinosaur toy aside for an Xbox instead, or that he was actually able to join the conversation during our family dinner conversations on topics like a woman’s right to choose and Black Lives Matter.

People never believed me when I said my mother is my best friend, but that could not be more true. I love my mother. Since she was raised by a young single mom, she has always been a little more like a sister than my mom when it comes to stealing my favorite coats and accessories.

But when it comes to giving life advice, she is golden. During the lockdown, we made it a point to finally tick off classic movies we had never seen before as “Gone With the Wind” and “Pulp Fiction. “

I regularly canceled plans to hang out with friends and stopped by to drink Argentine red wine with my mom while my dad ran to get snacks at the wine shop on the corner, which gave me some pretty confusing lyrics in response, but I do not regret it at all.

The author with his family.
The author with his family.

Lent by Daisy Maldonado

I’ve been thinking a lot about moving out. As a 21-year-old, I really thought I was ready to live alone and take over the world. But my formal entry into adulthood was stopped by the pandemic, and when I got home, I realized how wrong I was taking.

Recently, I accepted a full-time job requiring me to move back to New York. And even though I’ve visited a few times since the COVID-19 pandemic began, I was very disappointed with the news. I’ve wanted to move to New York all my life, so why am I so upset?

The consequences of leaving home again, this time as a 23-year-old and only a little wiser, but all the more aware that time is sacred, are much harder. The last two years have also been met with many losses my family has had to suffer at the hands of the pandemic that has forced me to reconsider what is most important in life.

Thanks to my time away from college, I had the opportunity to study abroad in both Paris and London, make wonderful friends and fall in love for the first time with my incredible boyfriend. In many ways, my life is almost set up in New York, except I’m not ready to leave home.

I do not like the idea of ​​seeing updates or celebrating birthdays through our family group chat, but I would like to be a willing participant in the passing of TikToks, memes and cringey emojis in an attempt to feel close to them. The phrase “you can not go home again” is true, but I have learned that your loved ones will build a new shelter from scratch, no matter where and when you decide to go back.

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