Forty and living with your parents

By Gizane Aparicio

If you’re sensitive enough, you can feel a country’s energetic vibe as soon as you get off the plane.

Ireland has a mystical, nostalgic, a little crazy and “shit’s happening here” vibe.

The Basque country – where I’m from – has an ancient, hermetic, warrior vibe. A “you’ll have to earn our trust”vibe.

The town I grew up in has a slow, tired vibe of an old soul.

Once a vibrant European fishing port, Portugalete seems to be now populated by mainly elderly couples who come out in the evening for their daily stroll along the pier.

“It’s grand for a holiday” I told mum “but this place is dead.”

Moving back home at 40 is not many people’s dream of a lifetime. And yet, it seems to be a rather common occurrence. What with separation and divorce on the rampage, I consider myself extremely  lucky mum is happy to put me up whilst I get back on my feet.

With the average monthly wage here being a grand, and property rentals as high as in Dublin, I’m surprised the whole country is not eating mum’s soup for dinner.

What is a blessing can also be a pain in the ass, especially if you’re an independent woman like me who left home at 22 to go gallivanting around the world.

Used to living in the peace, quiet and freedom of your own home, being back in a 90 square metre apartment with three other people can cause the untrained mind unmentionable stress.

At night, I hear the neighbours fight with their also thirty something year old son, who never left home and it seems never plans to. The incredible level of anger, frustration, and the names they call each other seem just unbelievable to me.

I wake up in the morning to the sound of women shaking carpets on their balconies, slapping the fuck out of mattresses, hoovering… I can even smell lunches being cooked. It’s like “jaysus Christ people, it’s 7am, will yous just chill for a minute!”

I’ve to time my showers (to save water), be criticised for my food choices, and I’m also expected to engage in nightly TV watching and small talk, in Spanish. What I like to call, hell in a box.

Thankfully, my Earth angel, namely my sister, happens to own an apartment that’s passed as a visitorless museum for years. Incredibly, she enjoys living with mum more than living on her own. Nuts.

Anyway, as soon as I find a sommier that fits an old 41.5inch mattress I’m out of here. Needless to say I’m moving heaven and hell.

Last night mum came and sat on my bed side. She’s worried I don’t want to join them and spend time with them. I had to explain that whilst I love them very much and I really appreciate their help and support, I need to be with my self right now.

This is a year of introspection, contemplation, and spiritual growth. This, no matter what the Chinese animal zodiac says, is for me the year of the butterfly; the year the old me dissolves and gives way to a new shinier me.

“Well, tomorrow you can do that Ricky thing on me if you want” says mum kissing me on my cheeks.

“It’s Reiki mum, but cool, we’ll do that.”












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