Recently, a couple of my friends are going through the hard time I went through two years ago: realizing your parents aren't perfect. If you grew up in a loving family with supportive and stable parents, your parents have been an important part in your life. When you had your first breakup or you first learned how to drive; when you had to make choice of university or which path you need follow to fulfil your dreams. Parents are super-heros that have 200% energy and spend their life caring and worrying about us, their kids.
When you leave for university, whether you sill have siblings living home, for your parents, it’s the beginning of the end: they are going to be alone soon. They have spent at least 18 years of their life focusing on their children. All the extracurricular activities they took you to, the parties they took you and your best friends to, in addition to their own job and personal schedule. Living this busy lifestyle, few thoughts were given to what was coming next: children will leave home. Soon.
If you're like me, you’ve seen your dad, this confident and focused man wanting to ride a motorcycle like he did in his early youth or your mum tells you she wants to get a master degree in History of Arts, you know something happened when you were gone. Life at home as you knew will be different this summer. First of all, you’ve grown up and survived another year of university. You got inspired by people you’ve met, your professional and personal experiences have made you a different person. At the same time, your parents seem to have a new routine: they’re more independent and have their own schedule that does not turn around your own self.
At the beginning, I was upset at my parents. Not because they were not taking care of me (I do enjoy the independence that earned at university) but the fact that I went back to spend time with them and they found it “hard” to spend time with me for an entire day. I did wonder if they missed me. In the meantime, I was sincerely happy about interests and dreams they had created by their own in this year. As young woman, I have been told so many times that my youth will be the best time of life and I ought to try all the adventures and opportunities ahead of me as I won’t be able to do it later on. My parents showed me this statement is not true. Life is about dreaming and achieving your goals regardless of your age. It gave me hope that it is okay to leave some dreams aside for now and put them back in my life when time will come.
Yes, I was pissed at my parents when I came back home because I felt alone. It is never pleasant to see your childhood memories challenged by the very people who made them possible. If everything gets crazy and intense in university, home is to be supposed to be your safe and comfy zone. That summer, my parents did not do everything for me anymore for the simple reason that they have their own life. Going to university is a major a major challenge for parents therefore after dedicating half of their life to educate me, I am delighted that my parents found happiness in something else than just their kids. My mum was still euphoric when I told her that I was going to Korea and my dad still gives me his look of approval when I talked about my future career. They had the strength to let me go to university and move on with their own life.
My parents taught me another essential life lesson: no one is super hero. Individuals have ups and downs, dreams and losses, and most of all they are changing throughout time. My parents taught me to be independent and care about people; they show the value of taking time for oneself without turning into selfishness. My parents aren’t perfect, they are human.
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