' Above 18: Time for Independence?

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Above 18: Time for Independence?
By Melissa Nazareth

June 23, 2011

I’ve always believed that maturity is nothing but growing up to one’s experiences in life. So in order to mature one must grow and in order to grow one must amass a wealth of experience.

It amazes me how a bird protects its eggs with every fiber of parenthood that it has in its fragile being, nurtures its fledglings to the best of its abilities and then one find day kicks its young ones out of the nest. These young birds most certainly falter but someday are seen soaring high in the skies. Mother Nature never teaches us the wrong lessons and so we may confidently conclude that the parenting techniques of these lesser mortals are flawless. As human beings, could we borrow a tip or two from Mother Nature’s guide to parenting? 

My decision to leave my parents, in order to earn an education for myself, was not a conscious one. Today, six years have gone by since the day I made the choice and I truly believe that it has been one of the best decisions of my life. One of the very first lessons that independence taught me was ‘Only you can protect yourself’. Most children never get to see life’s reality whilst under parental protection. No matter how outgoing and tough parents wish to make their young ones, as parents they surrender to their heart and end up overprotecting their kids.

Self-dependence forces one to get out of the well and stop living life frog size. The initial phase is indeed difficult but the lessons that one learns stays with one forever. Another lesson that I’d like to share with you is ‘Life is not a cake walk’. One needs to earn it (literally and metaphorically) in order to enjoy it. It is easier to value hard work when one pays one’s own bills than it is to when dad pays for the latest gadget. A third lesson that I consider important is ‘The correct company matters’. It’s essential to choose the right friends because these are the people (apart from family) that will stand by one no matter what. Also, these are the people that would play a major role in shaping one’s personality during some of the most crucial years of one’s life. 

When I look at myself in the mirror today, do you know what I see? I see a beautiful and powerful woman staring back at me. My tryst with independence has made me everything that I’ve always wanted to be. My parents were always there to support me both financially and emotionally. We shared a transparent relationship through out these six years of my life. But that dash of solitude and that pinch of independence is what made all the difference.

Independence begins in between one’s ears. One needs to be mentally ready to be truly independent. The readiness can come only by taking the plunge. Every child at some point needs to be encouraged to take that plunge and parents are the best people to support this leap of faith towards adulthood. It is good to learn from others’ mistakes but it is better to learn from our own because we never forget the lessons that we learn the hard way. And someday after many falls and flights, we like those young birds, would find ourselves soaring high in skies.


Melissa Nazareth Archives:

Comments on this article
S N SHETTY , DOHA /BARKURThursday, June 23, 2011
When college ends the real life starts...in life you have to face the problems than only you grow up and able to handle any pressure in life.its an great feeling to be independent in life.at the age of 26 every person should live a independent life than he or she will be success in there life.
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Augustine D'Souza, Kulshekar, Mangalore.Thursday, June 23, 2011
Well written Melissa.It is a model article to every parent &growingup children. May God Bless You.Keep enlightening todaysyoungsters,
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