Independence is everything I thought it could be and an immense amount more. There are simple acts in daily life that hardly anyone think about, but they give me so much satisfaction. Like buying my own groceries. Paying for my own gas. Cleaning the dishes and folding my laundry. I haven’t been back to my parents’ place except to pick up the remainder of my possessions and to check my email. Since moving into my apartment, I’ve called my mom twice while my mom has called me (I’ve tallied) 11 times.

I’m not sure how I was able to make it happen. At what point did I prove to convince myself that I’m ready to live on my own? In many ways, I’m not really ready. But I think it takes trial-and-error experiences to reach that point. Already, I’m starting to understand the truth behind responsibility and obligation. I am taking care of myself, but I’m smart enough to know that if I ever needed help, there’s nothing wrong with going to my parents. I was afraid of that idea in the beginning, but something has changed and I’m not as up-tight about being poor. I am 19 years old. I’m expected to be poor. But so long as I can sustain myself, I will. If I can avoid help from my parents, I will at all costs. I have so far, and very successfully. Hopefully, I can keep it that way.

And since I’ve moved out, my brother has “moved in.” He has moved his things into my former bedroom. And I must say, it looks great. He deserves my room and my parents deserve to have a guest room, which is what Kyle’s room will become. Too often, people stay in my parents’ home and the only space available is in the basement living room. Now, with the spare room, everyone can have their privacy. A true blessing.

I’ve come to believe that this month–September of 2003–will be one I will always remember. My life has changed drastically in less than a week. I feel great. I will never forget this time.

And I know for a fact that it is only going to get better.

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