The other night I was home as usual–I know, it must be hard to believe I’m not out every night at the club—and I had yet another revelation.
It’s time for me to leave my grandparents house.
In order for me to fully begin the process of following my dream of moving to New York and becoming a writer, I need to be independent. I need to break the physical tethers tying me home so I can be free to make my own decisions.
It may seem silly to move all my things to New Paltz only to move them all the way down into the city in only a few short months, but I know that this is the right thing to do. By moving all my things upstate, I won’t have to make an interim stop at my grandparents in the winter. This will not only save time, but will keep me from falling into the same slump I fell into last winter and this summer.
When I am at school I am constantly being stimulated and inspired simply by virtue of being in an academic setting (even if it’s not perfect). I have a much clearer focus of what I want to do and how I’m going to get it done. I am completely independent, cleaning and doing my own grocery shopping and cooking (even if it is only vegetables and veggie burgers most nights).
But when I return home, I feel as though all the progress I’ve made during the semester is lost. I go back to relying on my grandparents more than I’d like to. I have to tell them where I’m going, why, and when I’ll be back. Every time I sit down to do work, my little sister knocks on the door. And most of all, it’s extremely hard to feel inspired here when everyone in my family has been living the same way for longer than I’ve been alive—and sometimes not in the healthiest ways.
By moving my things upstate now, I will begin to feel the freedom that I crave. I will make decisions for myself without worrying about what my family will or will not approve of. I will be free from criticism (that my grandfather thinks is helpful, which sometimes just hurts). I will be the head of my household. The decision maker of my life. The captain of my ship, if you will.
I always imagined this sort of independence when I was younger. Even before my dad became sick, I dreamed of living on my own at a young age and providing for myself. I wanted that sense of independence over my own life. And my dad never disagreed.
When he died though, my fierce sense of independence dulled. But now that I’ve healed and refocused my energy, I look forward to the opportunity to truly be on my own.
My grandparents have done so much for me growing up and I am truly grateful to them. But now it is time for me to live my own life. “Carve my own path,” like my grandpa just said the other day.
And if they truly love me, they will be happy with my decision. Because they know this is what will help me find fulfillment.
And if I’m not mistaken, this is what all parents’–or in this case, grandparents–want for their children. For them to be strong, determined, and independent. It means they’ve done their job right. And for me, they have.