Three weeks later, I was back at home. My $500/month insurance (through COBRA) meant that I only had $1000 of my unemployment insurance payment left with which to pay rent, utilities, etc... My apartment rent was $700/month. $300 for bills, groceries, gas? Not going to cover them. So I moved back in with the folks. At first, I was embarrassed: 26 years old and moving back in with the folks.
I considered getting a job as a receptionist or a secretary, then discovered that there would be absolutely no increase in my "salary." Your typical receptionist makes the same thing I make on unemployment insurance. Crazy, huh? And I was also turned down for the receptionist/administrative assistant positions for which I applied. Apparently, an ability to design buildings does not necessarily translate into answering phones or typing up meeting minutes.
Am I still embarrassed about living with the folks? Not really. I make fun of myself for it, now, when people ask me where I live. It does stink living out in the 'burbs, when all my friends still live near Downtown, but that just means I have to plan ahead a little bit if I want to see them. And besides, I don't have the money to go out like I used to, so it's not that much of a hardship after all.