As I grow older, the realisation that I need to finally stand on my own two feet gains more and more traction. I know that becoming an independent member of society is just an integral part of growing up, but the transition from a little boy who looks forward to munching on his mum’s delicious cooking and who hugely enjoys playing a game of footy with his old man to a young man who has to live in the big, bad world isn’t a walk-in-the-park for everyone. You guys and girls know what I’m talking about, right? But don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my independence as the next person, but my mind sometimes harks back to the not-too-distant past, and I start to miss some of the daily rituals that are no longer a part of the life that I lead today. It’s strange how you start to cherish the ordinary and mundane things once they disappear into the mist of time, huh?
We learn to adapt to the changes that life throws at us in our own ways; some of us do it successfully and swiftly, while others struggle a bit more (a lot more, in some cases!). I believe it’s completely normal to miss being a kid, just as how it’s completely normal to want to have more freedom to manoeuvre through life using your own ingenuity and tenacity.
We wake up under the same roof and near to the same people for so many years that we become conditioned into accepting a certain premise. So it’s no surprise that some (many?) are “shaken up” when they realise that they’re not in the comfort zone that they’ve grown up in or around. But there comes a time when we all have to stand up on our own two feet and face that big, complex ball that’s called Planet Earth.
I believe it would be pointless – to a high degree – to fear the inevitable. Growing up is just another inevitability – just like death. Accept what is heading towards you, but don’t tremble in fear about the unknown, because the unknown eventually becomes the known. The world can be a very interesting place. Trust me.
But the world can be – and often is – a scary place. Yes, many of us will struggle in many different ways. But we, as young adults, can overcome all kinds of hurdles, just like those before us. But cheer up; it’s not the end of the world. Those who have fled the nest can always go back and visit their parents/families from time to time.
Independence comes in different forms and shapes, but I believe the most important kind of independence is the financial kind. After all, strong foundations can’t be built with a few resources and on top of shaky ground. I don’t know about other young adults but earning my own money as an assistant chef brings a great deal of personal satisfaction, as well as a great feeling of accomplishment. But personal independence isn’t exclusively about things that have monetary value: personal independence is mainly about walking on a path in life without anybody holding your hand, and looking out into the distance, not knowing what’s out there but knowing that it’s up to you – and only you – to find out before you depart from this world.