Never say never. On more than one occasion I told myself that I would never move back to Saginaw, and on every one of those countless number of occasions, I believed it. I would think to myself, in what scenario would I find myself moving back to Saginaw? What in my life would have to go all the way wrong to end up again at home, and living with my parents, no less? Out of all the scenarios that ran through my head, a promotion and pay raise was not one of them. But in December of 2017, my unthinkable presented itself as the best option.
I was fresh off a birthday vacation to the Dominican Republic with friends and family, where I was celebrating a new decade of life, but I was also celebrating a job promotion, an excellent one at that. I was now an Implementation Manager for my organization, essentially a project manager with a heavy emphasis on training. I was excited about the role. I thought it was perfect for my skillsets, and now that I’m over a year into it, I stand correct. The position more than made up for the international travel role I was offered in the summer after I flew to New York for an interview that never came to fruition. That whole scenario left me a little disheartened, but this was the bounce back. I was excited. I was nervous. I was… wait? “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY STUFF?”
I will be traveling three weeks out of every month. Does it make sense to keep my apartment? My lease is up in December, should I re-sign? Wouldn’t that be a waste of money if I will be traveling as much as I think I am? What can I do? Move in with my girlfriend in Chicago? Hmm. Split the rent with one of my friends in Michigan? Maybe. Move in with my parents in Saginaw? Wait, what? That would make sense, and think of all the money you would save. Honestly, this is probably the best option. (Real conversation)
Ma, I think I’m going to move all my stuff home. “What else would you have done,” my mother replied. Yeah. So, that was that. When December came, I moved back to Saginaw for the first time since 2005, a full 12 years later, and it was the best decision. I do travel a lot. I’ve spent much more time on the road than I have in my second childhood home – I’m even writing this blog post in New York – and I have saved a lot of money. Also, I’ve grown to appreciate Saginaw more this second go around. I value spending time with my parents more.
I see the potential that Saginaw has as a city and the talent that resides and that was grown there. For example, my Day 1, BV gravel curbs – no sidewalks – friend, Tyler Moncrief, and The Perfect Heart Tee. Check him out, he is a dope creative with an unmatched eye.
I want to be a part of that. In the Mis-Education of the Negro, Carter G Woodson writes about how college educated black people leave their cities and never return with what they learned, which further reinforces a self-defeating cycle of systemic poverty. Maybe I was a part of that, or perhaps I just wanted to chase some dreams. Either way, I’m here now, kind of. Not that much, but enough to annoy some of my little cousins, especially, Akili. I love you! (That was a shoutout)
The Mis-Education of the Negro also touches on family dynamics of immigrant families versus those of African-American families. Although I consider myself to be African-American and Black, I also identify as a first-generation American. I come from a family of immigrants, and immigrant families help each other. I’ve seen examples my entire life. Some random person from the islands would be living in somebody’s house until they got on their feet. So, this move wasn’t that far fetched.
I’m not trying to get back on my feet. I don’t have to be at home, I want to be. In your life, you have to do what makes sense for your situation. Don’t worry about what other people say. You have a vision, and you know where you are going. Your adjustments, whether they are living situation, taking a job you don’t want to take or sacrificing momentary pleasure for lasting peace will pay off. Everybody has vision, but not everybody has focus. Focus is what will move you forward.
I don’t care what the Baby Boomers and Gen-X say. Being a Millennial is tough at times. The cost of living has grown at an exponential rate versus the average wage rate. If you don’t believe me, Pew is pretty good at the research thing: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/
It was just easier to live in the 60s, 70s, 80s and to an extent the 90s. But in the 00s, we know that is not the case. More Millennials are renting than buying with no plans to buy: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/09/these-are-the-reasons-why-millions-of-millennials-cant-buy-houses.html
Millennials are willing to share. We created ride sharing because transportation is expensive. We created AirBnBs because traveling is expensive. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/275802
I’m pretty sure a habitat-sharing platform is on the way to minimize the cost of living expenses. If not, you should build it. That’s not my lane, but staying with my parents is for now, and I love it, here’s why:
- No rent – I’ll help with whatever needs help and whoever needs money, but not having to pay rent is nice.
- My mother gets to drive my car – Also, I don’t have to worry about my car just sitting in a parking lot for weeks at a time with no one to look after it.
- I still like my mom’s food – My mom likes cooking, and I love eating. I pretty much buy my own groceries whenever I am home, which isn’t that much to not burden my parents with feeding a grown man.
- Akili – I love you!
- Catching up with friends I grew up with – There’s nothing like those Day 1 friends. I’ve lived and traveled all over the country but having conversations with people who share many of the experiences that shaped you is priceless.
- Witnessing what the city has grown and is growing into.
- No rent