I haven't spent much more than two weeks at home with Mom, Dad, and Sister and now I find myself packing bags 4 days till launch. Its one of those bittersweet realizations when you are actually going out on your own and have broken free of the parental death-grip. I put it in such affectionate terms because I believe that my parents worked so hard at protecting me and insulating me from external pitfalls that now I may not recognize some when I see them! I know all their recommendations and advice undoubtedly came with my best interests in mind (or their ideas of my best interests). I am so fortunate to have parents that care(d) as much as mine but sometimes I wonder if it was too much! I liken it to a toddler's feelings upon realization of what it means to have taken its first steps. "Holy crap! I can go wherever I want to go now! This is wonderful! I don't have to be led and carried around by - *THUD*...... WAAAAAAHHHHHHHH..... Somebody come help me!" Okay so maybe a toddler doesn't have the reasoning or the foresight to fear the upcoming falls but go with it.
My closest friends have always told me that my parents have too much control over me and that its time for me to break away from it. Well I have done it now - not an easy step - but it does feel liberating. It was a surprisingly simple and short-lived process. I just adopted the mindset that I no longer had interest in them 'controlling' me and made sure to remind them that I was taking their advice into consideration but that they shouldn't expect any sort of outcome or response because those are for me to decide from now on. This is one of those reflection points in my life where nothing noticeable changed in my day-to-day actions but everything feels changed because I have a fresh attitude. This topic may be a tough one to turn into something worth reading (unless you are me) but I suppose it could stand to offer some perspective. Maybe you are that controlling parent (I did say I appreciated it, right?), maybe you are a controlling friend or spouse, maybe you are the one being controlled. My words here are, in no way, to be used as a guideline or a solution; they might open your eyes, though.
I suppose a good take-home message is this: Be cognizant of your influence on others and the influences you accept for yourself. Don't let them rule you or define you - just let them influence you in as much or as little as you agree with them. Don't try to rule or define others, either - respect their individualism and ability to look out for themselves - offer advice, not ultimatums. Gosh sometimes I feel like the last few weeks have been so philosophical for me but I honestly feel like I am learning these life lessons for the first time! I had been warned about them and had them explained to me (from my parents, of course) but now I feel as though I understand them!