Moving out puts things into perspective. It isn't just getting your own place, it isn't just moving out of your parents place, It's you getting complete control over your choices. I thought I had freedom before, I could go to a friends and smoke pot, I could buy an Xbox with my own money. That was partial freedom. My parents are pretty cool. Yesterday they found a small bag of pot in my pants pocket. My mom mentioned it to at dinner and my dad just shrugged it off. We had a discussion about how I heat sealed the cellophane and if it would still be good if it went through the wash. I don't think they'll smoke it.
Friends and sisters have moved out before me and it didn't really hit me at first what was happening. I was only 9 when my first sister moved out. I was just happy she wasn't hogging the bathroom anymore. Then my younger sister moved out and I really started to feel something missing. Things had slowed down around the house, I was just Mom, Dad and I. The house seemed empty. People bring people and when they leave so do their friends.
Growing up things change but only a little bit at a time and it creeps up on you. One day your parents are covering your eyes to the sex scene on TV then a few years later you're gettting the talk. Add in a few years and you're making sex jokes. Change is evolving us constantly. It happens to us whether we like it or not. Little changes over time happen, and you're still the same person just with more experience about how much you can drink or what kind of clothes you wear. Then one day you look in the mirror and it's not you looking back. You know who you are, but who's looking back isn't the one that you see inside yourself. Tension builds up in the gears of your self image and eventually a gear will slip. You still see the nerdy kid in middle school who couldn't hold eye contact and got straight A's without trying. Sometimes you don't like what you've become.
Moving out means there is no familiar smell when you come home anymore, no more smell of food being made, no more old people smell down the end of the hallway. You stop having an active role and become merely a part of their lives. Sure you might come down for weekends every once in a while or see them on holidays but for the most part you have left them. That is true freedom and it is bittersweet.