We are all born into a family. Yes, I know I said family and not the planet or anything even remotely close to it. I said so because we all spend a significant time with them and they play an integral part in shaping a human. Also, there is no denying that over the years we all have had a love- hate relationship with them.
Like every other person in their late teens, I too couldn’t wait to go off to college in another city, away from home – my first taste of freedom. But was I ready to step into the ‘real world’ as they call it, all by myself?
Human beings are the only mammals that take care of their offspring for such a long period of time after birth, protecting and nourishing them. We have all been or are currently going through that phase of our lives, the one we spend with family. People often tell you that the time at school is the best period of our lives but we tend to forget that more often than not, a substantial part of that ‘period’ is spent at home with family. If you are one of the (un)lucky few like me, by the time you’re in college, home merely becomes your monthly getaway from the tensions of hostel and college life.
When I hear people talk about becoming an adult, I wonder, in a split second, at the stroke of midnight of the day that marks 18 years of your existence, society decides to give you a lot more responsibilities (atleast that’s what they claim). They let you choose who you want to be ruled by, they trust you with vehicles, they let you marry if you’re a girl and most importantly, let you have that tag that every child craves for – Adult. What changes in that one second is beyond me.
Like every other person that turned 18 that year and the years before that, I exclaimed on my 18th – I’m legal! (Yay). Pat came the prompt reply – ‘So what?’ Even I didn’t have a clearcut answer then. Thinking about it, nothing changed. I was still the 5 foot something girl, as clueless about life as much as I was at 11.59pm the previous night.
After going off to college and becoming a mature adult, you and everyone around tend to convince you that you’re now capable of facing any challenge the world throws your way. But that feeling, I’ve realised, is the greatest immaturity in itself. After living 17 years of our lives inside the protective cocoon that we call family, it is close to ridiculous to even imagine that one fine day, we don’t need to be taken care of.
Yes, being recognised as old enough to make your own decisions is great, but at a later point in time, I bet you will miss the guiding and correcting and the confidence at the back of your mind that you have someone to fall back on when you falter. And to be honest, I don’t think that’s half as bad ; maybe you don’t make the right choices, maybe you make mistakes, maybe you cant ‘adult’, but that’s exactly how you learn after all, right?
For being legal might make you independent, open an array of choices in front of you, give you an opportunity to explore. But always remember that in the end; Family is family, Blood is blood.