In the past three years, I have learned a lot about being a “grown up”. I definitely don’t feel like one but I definitely have the responsibilities of one. It’s a great combination. I get the freedom of being independent together with the creative freedom and playfulness of childhood. Something that has really stuck out is how I see my relationship with my parents. When I was younger (possibly as near as 3 years ago) I thought my parents were dopes. Who were they to tell me what was right? How do they know? You know, teenage angsty stuff. At around the time I started going to college, I started to change my mind about my parents. They didn’t go to college, they don’t quite have my cultural background, and a whole slew of other things that we differ on. However different or “stupid” my parents had been in the past, I saw it then in a new light. They were giving me advice that made sense. It was my lack of life-experience, not theirs, that blinded me. The more I thought about my relationship with them the more I thought about a quote by Mark Twain.
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
When we’re young we have a way of reacting to our parents decisions and ways. It’s interesting how leaving the home lets you understand more clearly what it was your parents were telling you.
On a side note, I’m not sure the quote is wholly applicable to me. Twain seems to assume that most people will not realize that it is s/he who has grown much smarter and not their parents. I think he is right in his assessment, but he is also correct in that we, as kids and teenagers, don’t see the bigger picture our parents were pushing for.