This whole past summer my parents drove me nuts. Absolutely insane. I had the lowest possible tolerance for them, and all summer I just said to myself, “I can’t wait until I move out at the end of the summer!” And as I laid in bed unable to sleep each night the week prior to my departure, I realized that what I had been experiencing for the past three months is growing pains.
“I’m not a little kid anymore, Mom!” we all whine when Mom tries to wipe chocolate off our faces at age thirteen. But now, that’s really the truth. I’m not a little kid anymore, Mom. And it was this realization of these “growing pains,” that made me take a step back. Mom and Dad are feeling the growing pains, too. This time isn’t exactly easy for them. They’re not ready to let go of their oldest. They’re worried about her being four hours away. They want to make sure she has everything that she’s going to need. And bringing those things to the front of my mind made me realize that I need to be more patient with them. Because as they’re growing, I’m growing.
It’s going to be time for me to make my own decisions. I’m an adult now. They’re going to have to let go. I’m going to find myself and establish the person that I want to be. But they’ve raised me. They’ve taught me well. It’s time for the little birdie to fly the nest. These growing pains over the summer have started to shape me into who I’m really going to be.
I realized that I’m not Daddy’s perfect little Catholic girl. That the conception I built up as a little girl of being the perfect person my dad wants me to be isn’t reality. I believe in the faith and I believe in being a good person, but my dad and I just aren’t the same. We see things a little differently. I always thought I’d grow up and be “just like my parents.” But along the way, I learned that my parents aren’t exactly the same, and that I’m not either. But that’s okay. They’re them, and I’m me.
I realized that I need to go to a place where I can say what I want to say. For so long, I haven’t been able to do that. And for so long, I was afraid of attention. I tried to make myself invisible because if I was invisible, then no one could be mean to me. To this day, I don’t breathe fully. Because breathing takes up space, and taking up space gets you noticed. But in a new place, where there are new people, I can learn how to breathe again. And that’s what I intend to do.
But, guys, be kind to your parents. You don’t have to be clones of them; you don’t even have to see eye-to-eye all the time, but they have to go through your growing pains with you. Especially if you’re like Vivaz and I and you just moved off to college. It’s an adjustment time for everyone that’s going to take a little getting used to, and I’m sure the time away from home will do you (and them) some good. Sure, things may be bumpy at times as you’re asserting the adult that you want to be, but they’re your parents. They will always love you. No matter what.