Realise There’s Life Without Your Parents

Tattoo Parlour in San Francisco

I’m not saying I don’t need my parents or that I don’t love them unconditionally or am ever anything less than eternally grateful for all that they’ve done and sacrificed for me. Oh no. I appreciate and get on with my parents more than most people I know – which I guess is actually kind of sad. I think if half of us were lucky enough to get on with our parents as well as I do, there would be a lot more jolly people walking our streets, I’m sure of it.

What I’m saying, is that up until I began my university life I couldn’t envisage a life without my parents. I couldn’t imagine not seeing them most days, living with them, going on holidays with them and eating dinner with them every evening. This is even though I had been travelling for three months – and loved it with no homesickness at all. I couldn’t really see a future without them in it, in close proximity, all the time. And I suppose that’s what I’ve come to realise. This is what growing up feels like. It’s a feeling that creeps up on you and all of a sudden, one day, you can see a life separate to them. A life where you make your own mistakes and you pick up the pieces. A life when you realise that they’re not always right, they’re human, but they’re yours and it doesn’t matter because they’re also your friends.

Mum and I accompanying Dad while he got his tattoo!

That’s not to say that I don’t want them in my life. I hope my Mum stays my closest friend and advisor for ever, preferably. She can’t pop off because frankly, I need her craziness in my life for eternity. And the same goes for my Dad. I want them to be a part of everything. It’s just that now I feel like I can live away from them and have another life that I can intertwine with theirs. And they need and want their freedom too. It’s a two way street and I feel very ready for it now. I understand for financial reasons, but these ‘chadults’ as they’re called – adults who are like children because they are living at home well into their late 20s/30s now – living at home because it’s easier and they get everything done for them, is what I don’t get. Perhaps that’s because I pull my weight at my house – I have to help my Mum out and I’m happy to do that but now I’m ready to fly the nest and set up my own life once I leave uni. I couldn’t think of anything worse than coming home after living three years away and getting under my parents feet. They would drive me nuts!

So, I suppose what I’m trying to say, is that it really struck me how scary and exciting growing up feels like. I never really thought this day would come. I’m 20 in two weeks and that scares me as it is. I still feel 15 and probably act like it sometimes too! But leaving home and starting to truly become an adult is part of life, it’s organic and perfectly natural. And, finally, I feel ready.