Back in my teenage years, one of my overused catch phrases was, “I can’t wait to…” My top favorites were, ‘I can’t wait to be an adult, I can’t wait to start making money, I can’t wait to start receiving a salary or I can’t wait to just decide for myself. Usually the catch phrase ended up with, “after all, It’s my life”.
So I did something about it or so I thought at the time, I studied so hard for my SSCE -Senior School Leaving Exams- to make sure I wouldn’t flunk out of anything, then applied to schools very far away from home. I finally got admitted to a University that was in an entirely different region from where my parents lived at the time, about 10 hours trip by road and an hour by flight.
Imagine my joy at 15, boarding the luxurious bus to Abuja and waving goodbye to my parents. I was set to start the next phase of my life in the University, making adult decisions.
Or so I thought.
Of course a large part of me missed my family terribly but I was too excited about the opportunity of finally taking decisions about my life and finally being a grown-up. Not decisions of where to spend summer camp or how to spend my pocket money but decisions around opting to make a certain “rocking” hairstyle, sleeping over at a friend’s house without my parents calling in to check on her and her parents or doing a mini-profile search on my friends. The thought of not being forced to wear a uniform from 8am to 4pm everyday made me giddy with excitement. Oh yes!
Guess what? I did have sleep overs at my girlfriends’ houses, I didn’t have to wear a uniform every day, I did get to spend my money and not be accountable for every dime but guess what, I learnt independence and responsibility during the course of the journey.
While I didn’t have to be accountable to my parents for the details of how my money was spent, I had to learn to be accountable to myself because I had the option of spending my entire pocket money in a week and remain miserably broke (there was no way my parents will hear of reckless spending) or learning to live with a budget. Looking back at those times now, I realize that those decisions I felt were big accomplishments are nothing of significance today. During my teenage years, it became important to acknowledge that independence comes with a dose of responsibilities and a larger dose of honesty with oneself. A few months after I got into the University, after a couple of poor grades (which was a huge shock for me, because I was always the one of the best students in class before I got into the University) and petty squabbles with friends. I had to focus. I decided to self-improve and grew a lot more interested in studying and developing myself, which was the actual reason why I was in the University.
And the result? I got a lot better.
And guess what I realized? You never really stop getting instructions and you have always been giving instructions, regardless of how old you are.
I will explain.
As a young adult, I still receive instructions from my parents, my bosses, the government, myself and my God. You never really stop receiving instructions, however your capacity to interpret and apply those decisions in your life become deepened and you also become more aware of the resultant effect of the instructions you give because every cause has its resultant effect.
So what am I saying dear younger sister, Enjoy each moment and every stage of life you find yourself in. Do not be so quick to be an adult, especially when you are prompted for the wrong reasons. Decide for yourself what really matters to you, stay true to yourself. And in many instances, your parents are not always wrong like we are quick to assume during our teen years, most times they are only looking out for you in the best way they know how to.
I will love to hear from you.
Lots of Love ,
*Images gotten from Google