A lot has happened to my life and to the world of course, since the last time I posted on Idée Fixe.At the moment, I’m about to move out of my house and finally (I’m …26 already! :O ) move in my own place and claim the freedom I was supposed to have all these years that I have lost. Don’t get me wrong, of course we are free in Greece, but due to several factors that I’m about to enumerate in this post later, you all can understand that personal freedom is millions of miles away better, when you finally get your tushy out off the family’s nest.
The Greek Home-Nest
Let’s take a look at that. What on earth is a nest anyway? It’s when adorable offspring prepare themselves for the life that will follow in their adulthood. Good. So what went wrong with me and several other Greek youngsters?
It’s green, many times stinky, and morally speaking ‘dirty’ in most cases. Money, that is.
Of course German, English, American and so on, young people, are basically broke too. But here is the deal. They have chances to actually make money in the future, since they will be able to find a job that pays enough for a bachelor’s flat and bills. In their daily life they will spend a logical amount of money for other needs, food, clothing, since the way of living there is not that expensive.
Whereas here in Greece, the way of living costs insanely more than the income the young people have from their poor salary. Most Greeks are what we call ‘unskilled workers’, working for black money and have only finished high school or an unimportant college or any vocational school. ‘Cause their poor education is a money problem too. A lot of families can’t economically support their child to enter a University. So the kid’s options are what I referred to earlier.
So, here comes the Home Nest. To save up money, one nice (but in its core, what it really is, is dreadful) option, is to keep on living with their family. There are some advantages of course, the food seems to just pop out suddenly on the table for eternity, your clothes smell like lavender, as if you have crawled in Tuscany’s beautiful lavender fields, and little do you have to worry about bills, since you actually share them with the rest of the family and you only contribute the amount that falls to your share. In the meantime, you continue to feel trapped in a golden cage.
A common ritual, yes I consider it a ritual since it’s so standard in Greek society for decades, is for the bird… sorry… the young person, to get out of there when he/she gets married to another …bird. So marriage is a way of moving out.
I know, I know, “What the hell?! Marriage is suppose to free you?” Oh well, for some people it works I guess. Maybe just the idea that they will be able to set their own rules in their own house, with a person they love (at least in the beginning) is what makes them feel better for the time being.
Although there is another factor that affects the decision of a youngster to move out of his/her family nest, I still find it much less affective than the ones above.
I’m talking about the traditional Greek suffocating family that often discourages their children, just because they feel great insecurity for their future. Greek families love to control their offspring. In the Greek parent’s state of mind, their children have high chances of starvation, drug addiction, and failures in sexual relationships (“Who is going to treat my precious daughter as a princess? And OMG they are for sure gonna use her for sex! She’s so naïve…”), and also anything that involves their offspring in life mistakes. Greeks are alright with life mistakes that their offspring will do, only when they are there to watch them out.
By discouraging them to leave the nest, especially if their children are willing to move in big cities-if they come from the rural area- or to dangerous neighborhoods –‘balkanic ghettos’- where they will have to face many difficulties, the role of the (over)protecting parent is being fulfilled.
GREEK CRISIS -“E.R.” STATE
As you may have heard, Greece is dealing with the worst economical crisis in probably a century time. Add that to the global economy which keeps falling and you have yourself a pretty damn good reason of not leaving the nest.
Then what got me and all of a sudden, in the middle of the crisis, with no work (I have worked only 16 hours …this month), with no much money left in my piggy-bank, to start packing and moving out?
I’m not a rebel in nature, in the meaning many people give to the word ‘rebel’ nowadays, but enough is enough. Since from what I see by the future that is coming for my generation, and I know I will starve a lot this year (hey! Maybe I’ll starve but I’m gonna blog my ass out damn it!) I came up with the realization that in order to gain your freedom, you really DO have to make sacrifices. We all know that, but by doing it is when you actually understand it in full. And freedom in most cases is a hard and discomfort situation.
But it’s a situation by your own terms. Bit by bit, you will learn to deal with all the daily life problems, bureaucracy issues, and so on. Anything that will make you, a rather mature person in mind, into a fully mature and independent individual.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Hell yeah, of course it does! How are you gonna learn about yourself if you don’t pass the difficulties? How are you gonna learn what strength you have inside when no one is there to help you? How will you feel confident if you haven’t felt insecure? How are you gonna find out what your dreams are when you are tied down and you usually abandon them and don’t give yourself a chance?
I sound like Hare Krishna! I shall stop for now then, and inform you that I will open a new category for tips and help in anything that has to do with the bachelor/bachelorette’s life, information of how you can live better and wiser with simple stuff, yet still be “decadent” as you deserve to be 😛