I cannot remember a time in my life where I could make decisions or choices thinking only of myself. I went from my parents’ home, and influence, almost directly to Adam’s. I never spent an adult moment completely independent.
We (both Single Gal and I) have talked so much about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence, but now I’m not specifically talking about choices but life lessons that seem necessary to be a competent coupled adult. It’s hard to imagine someone being a capable adult without ever experiencing life as an independent adult. Years ago, like in my grandparents’ generation, this was common. But nowadays people seem to conquer the world as themselves before settling down and becoming an “us.”
Have I lost something without discovering myself first? (I recently blogged about this subject) And although I’ll never know what I gave up by settling down so early, I will acknowledge that some people never get what I have. Some people marry, don’t marry, marry multiple times and never find what I found at the tender age of 18.
But what about missing out on making a clear and calculated (or not so calculated at the case may be) decision strictly based on your own selfish needs. Single Gal, Rachel, was propositioned to take this week (her spring break from school) and go skiing. She thought about it, and said why not! It was easy as that. For me, my first thought has to be my kids and their needs. Next I have to question my choices based on my husband’s needs and abilities. Finally I get to my own which ultimately would make my answer a big fat no by the sheer basis that all those people depend on me. To experience the ability to fly by the seat of your belt and do exactly what you want, is something I don’t remember ever experiencing.
I’m sure my parents, as well as Adam, are laughing at this blog right now. I have always been a strong spirit and I’ve had a lot of flexibility to do as I wish. That being said, I have always had someone to answer to. I almost think at this point, I wouldn’t even know how to not check back.
I would imagine that it’s difficult when two individuals have spent their adult years only thinking of themselves and they finally merge with someone else. Learning to jive with another person and another set of needs can only get more difficult as you figure out what you like.
Once again I’m going to resolve that although I may long for the flexibility and ability to be selfish, I’m grateful for being settled down with my family. The larger question, though, is it possible to be a successful adult without the experience of true independence?