Leaving Home

In about two weeks, I will be starting university.

And even though I live only about an hour away by bus and/or train, I will be living on campus.

I want to ditch the security and warmth of family life for the freedom and independence I know most parents will never really grant their children. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining this time. I’m really looking forward to discovering what I’m capable of doing when I finally break free of the reins. I’m seeing this as an opportunity to find out what I’m good at instead of what my parents think I’m good at.

It’s not like I’d never left home, but parents being parents, they never truly believe in their children unless they see it with their own eyes. No matter how much I tried convincing my Dad that I’ll be alright, he’s still grumbling about my decision. Come on, I survived four months in Europe (where he obviously couldn’t see me taking care of myself), where your risk of getting into mishaps possibly doubles that in Singapore.

Especially so in Asia, where most kids never leave the nest, it is very important for parents to understand the need to let go of their children and not remind them to change their underwear everyday. I’m pretty sure most people are well-equipped out of their own instinct to keep good personal hygiene. Really, when you’re twenty, you don’t want your parents to be following you everywhere and doing everything for you.

I guess I lost every bit of trust they had in me when I got depressed. Suddenly, I was a child again. They saw a need to accompany me wherever I went and baby me in front of other 20-year-olds. I felt embarrassed every time they did that and usually didn’t speak to them for a whole day after. However, due to the official diagnosis of my fragile mental state, they cast those incidents aside as symptoms of depression.

I’ve been working on and off ever since I returned to Singapore last June, never quite recovering from Independence Syndrome. What my Dad sees is materialism and shallow-thinking. “Are you in want of money?” he always asks angrily when I return home smelly and exhausted. I always say “yes” in anger and defiance, but in truth, I believe the $200 they used to give me every month could be better spent on enjoying their own lives. Besides, I like making my own keep and spending within my own means. It makes me think I’m capable of supporting myself (and lessens depression symptoms).

I’m taking small steps to recover and settle back into the life I lost and the last step could be being away from the shelter that had always held me and kept me secure.

With only two days of depressed moods the past week, I can definitely see things getting better.

I love my family and my home, but it’s time I learnt to love myself.

In about two weeks, I will be fine.

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