As a child, I’d always considered my life abnormal and unhappy since my parents’ divorce. I used to pity my mum for having a broken family, for having to be a single mother and for marrying the wrong person – so I yearned for a perfect life in which I fitted in and was able to avoid having to explain my parents’ divorce. I wanted a life that was different from my mother’s miserable one; a life in which my children wouldn’t have to ask their mother why daddy no longer lived with them anymore.
To be able to live that life, I needed to grow up. I thought growing up meant being able to have my own house and start my own perfect family, and I thought eventually I’d feel normal again once I accomplish these goals. It would mean that I’d become rich by earning money, I’d be mature, wise and empowered to solve everything that’s in my way, and I’d find a good man unlike my dad.
I was so focused on growing up fast that I didn’t realize that I didn’t need a perfect life to feel normal, happy and safe, and I didn’t need a perfect life to feel complete and loved. Nor did I realize how my mother had raised me to be a strong, independent girl all by herself. The idea of having a perfect life blinded me from what growing up really means.
Growing up means assuming dependability; being there for your family and understanding that no matter how broken you feel, you’ll always be loved. When you grow up, you start to understand that nothing’s perfect in life and that it doesn’t have to be perfect when you’ve everything you need right in front of you, waiting for you to cherish it. To me, growing up means being happy with who you are and cherishing what you’ve been blessed with.