“I hate it when people ask me if I’m in a relationship… I just feel like I’m not ready in my current situation to be dating anybody.”
“What makes you think that?”
She lifts her head up and rests her chin on her arm, “Who would want to date somebody who still lives with their parents? I can’t stand being twenty two and still living at home. it’s so embarrassing… The only people who can get away with that are high school students.” When she finishes, she falls silent. Her mouth turns into a small frown and she darts her eyes down; she probably lost in some kind of thought.
I lean back in my chair and keep my eyes on hers. I can relate to her a bit on that, thinking it’s embarrassing to still be living at home with your parents. Though, to be honest, it’s not always so bad.
“You know,” I start, “just because you’re finally done with college and starting your real adult life, it doesn’t mean you need to have everything ready to go right out of the door. You have a nice job, even though being the assistant to a short boss can be annoying at times.”
When I said that, she chuckles a bit and starts focusing on me.
“Maybe you should just relax a bit, build up a nice savings for a few months, and then try looking for your own place. Have fun a little bit, ya know? Life isn’t about trying to have the end goal as fast as possible. It’s about doing the right things to make sure you’re able to reach that end goal.”
… Why does that sound so familiar?
Those last few words start echoing in my mind, replaying over and over. I know I heard those words before, but I’m drawing blanks about who said it to me in the first place. I shrugs it off before it starts eating away at me. I bring my attention back to Heather who’s looking directly at me with a bright-eyed smile.
“Suddenly hearing you say that actually gave me a new perspective,” she says. “I don’t feel so embarrassed about living at home. It’s just a step I need to take to reach my end goal, right?”
I smile back at her, “Exactly.”
During our chat, Heather’s phone starts vibrating, her signal that our lunch break is about to end in just a few minutes. When she notices the time, she realizes that she never got a chance to put her food in the microwave. She let out a sigh, but I offer the rest of the food in my container to her. It’s mostly fries, but she happily accepts.
“Speaking of taking a step,” Heather says, “can you come back to my desk to help me with something? I don’t know how to edit a building’s registration code.”
“Sure. It’s not that long of a process.”