To the first bolded: everything in life is a choice. If you want to move out of your parents' house bad enough, you make that choice. You do without. Your situation at home obviously wasn't that bad, or you would have sacrificed a kitchen and/or gotten a roommate. I don't agree with people saying they "can't afford to move out" when they really mean "they can't afford to move into a nice one-bedroom in an upscale neighborhood".I feel your pain. I'm turning 25 in a couple of months and am finally moving out! I'm a New Yorker, too, so I know how hard it is to find an affordable place. Plus having a kitchen is vital to me, so I knew if I moved out I had to have one and just couldn't do without. So, no matter how much people tried to tell me to go for a studio or a single room, I couldn't accept that. I also did not want a roommate. I wanted a place of my own, or to move in with a friend. Thankfully my friend found himself needing to move out and I am finally able to do so as well! Having dealt with roommates I didn't know while I attended school, I was not about go through that again. So, I definitely agree on having a friend as your roommate instead of a stranger.
With my student loan debt and my fairly low-paying career, it has taken me a while.
It can feel like you're just never going to get out, but just remind yourself that there are legitimate reasons why you haven't been able to. I think American culture is so behind the idea that people must move out as soon as possible that it doesn't take into account that sometimes it's not a very realistic idea. Times have changed and finances don't always make this possible, at least not in places like New York.
The important thing is to know that you're moving towards something, a goal, even if at times it feels like you're stuck. As I said, I know how depressing it can be, as I wondered if I'd ever get out. But I think you're well-prepared and will get out of your rut no problem.
I haven't even moved out and already I feel my relationship with my mother has improved (absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that). I expect the same will happen for you.
I wish you luck in finding something and hope you feel better about your life soon.
To the second bolded: I think what's "not a realistic idea" is the sense of entitlement many people in our generation (I'm 2 have. It's like we feel entitled to a great job, and a nice full-ammenity apartment the day we graduate college. That's what's not realistic! But moving out, even into a little shoebox in a basement with no kitchen and 2 roommates IS realistic, and it counts as moving out on your own.
This is true.
It's always been difficult to get an adult life going, and always will be, so the "times" or "economy" argument is just BS. If you want something bad enough, you can do it. You might have to give up something...comfy central air conditioning, flat-screen TV, big gourmet kitchen...but you really don't need all that to live an independent life.