For years, both fans and critics of the Duggar family have been imploring Jana Duggar to move out of her parents’ house.
Sure, these days, it’s not so uncommon for people in their early thirties to continue residing with their folks, but Jana’s situation seems uniquely miserable.
The so-called “Cinderella Duggar” spends her days caring for her younger siblings and performing household chores.
This state of never-ending servitude made headlines late last year when it was revealed that Jana had been arrested for child endangerment after one of the many young relatives she was looking after wandered away from home,.
While many critics were quick to blame Jana, those who have been watching this family closely for years knew that the real culprits were Jim Bob and Michelle, who have been working their eldest daughter to the breaking point for her entire adult life.
In the Duggars’ world, young women are allowed to leave home only once they’ve found a man and gotten married.
But recent events led some fans to believe that Jana had discovered a loophole in this archaic rule.
Back in January, several family members, including Jana, took a trip to visit Jinger Duggar in Los Angeles.
Jana was joined by her mother and two of her brothers, as well as one of one of her sisters, and one brother-in-law.
Fans were quick to notice that Michelle, Jason, James, Joy-Anna, and Austin Forsyth had all returned to Arkansas without Jana.
This led to hopes that Jana might have stayed behind in order to start a new life in California.
Sadly, those hopes were dashed over the weekend, when Jana revealed that she had boarded a return flight to her home state.
“Headed home! It’s been a great trip!” she captioned her Instagram Story.
The news was met with tremendous disappointment, particularly on the always-amusing r/DuggarSnark subreddit.
“Welp, Jana is heading home. Our hopes of her staying the hell in California are dashed,” one user wrote.
“Back to dresses and skirts,” another quipped.
“Headed home to what…exactly? I guess her employer, JB, was demanding her return,” a third chimed in.
A fourth user questioned the logistics of the situation:
“Is she really allowed to travel by herself?” this person asked.
The comment led others to suggest that Jana was likely joined by her longtime friend Laura DeMasie.
There have been rumors, of course, that Jana and Laura are more than friends, and there was a time when it looked as though they were not allowed to travel together without a chaperone.
But either those rumors were baseless, or Jim Bob has eased up in his restrictions.
Maybe he figures that at 32, Jana should be given the occasional crumb of freedom.
Or perhaps he’s just given up on the idea that she’ll find a suitably evangelical dude and crank out a small army of children.
Whatever the case, Jana does seem to be enjoying a little more independence these days.
But the hope that she would ever abandon her duties on the Duggar compound to seek her own happiness was perhaps a bit too optimistic.