When I was applying to colleges, I told my parents that I would stay in the city and close to home. After all, I was their only child. I knew what duties I needed to take care of at home and I also enjoy being close to my parents. Spending time with my family is important to me.
When I received my acceptances, I found out that it was required for first year students to live on campus. As it was the school’s policy, my parents let me live in a dorm.
When it came time to start my second year of college, my parents expected me to move back home. I told my parents that it was virtually impossible to do so and even coming back home every week was taking a toll on my grades and my mental health. I needed to be at school and to have my own space. This sparked a lot of anger and sadness from my parents as they said I was ungrateful for them bringing me into the world and ungrateful for all they have done for me so far. They were upset that I wanted to be further away and to spend less time with them, taking my desire to focus on schoolwork as a personal attack towards them.
This eventually started discussions about what would happen post-grad. Once I graduate college, would I leave the city? Would I just rid myself of my duties as the only daughter of the family and flee to another part of the country? My parents were feeling many emotions about my strife for independence.
Like many life transitions, my parents and I were eventually able to adjust and come to an agreement. My parents recognized that it was necessary for me to live alone and to practice being independent in order to grow as an individual. They were also feeling threatened as the tiny daughter that was always dependent on them is no longer tiny and no longer dependent on them. I was feeling threatened and chained down by my parents attachment to me. I recognized that their harsh words were just manifestations of their anxiety and worry for me as a growing adult and that they beneath everything, they love and care for me.
My mom always tells her friends about how she cried for three months after I moved into my college dorm. Now that I have moved to New York, my mom has not cried as much as she is proud and recognizes that I am pursuing my own dreams and goals. I created this meme in memory of what my relationship with my parents used to be and to be proud of where our family relationship is now.