I’m twenty five years old and I live with my parents. This is India, so that doesn’t make me a complete loser. Only partially so.
In school, everybody I knew lived with their parents (obviously) or family. When I got into college, there were a few of “those students” who came from different cities to Mumbai for education. It was a novelty to me; I had never even been allowed to a sleepover and these kids, my age, were living away from their families on their own. They could do whatever they wanted with no real supervision at all. I thought it was the coolest thing.
You’d think that as you get older, the restrictions that parents put on you would start reducing. Since you’re past that raising stage and are capable of rational thought and decision making. Speaking for myself, it still hasn’t happened. I’m twenty five, professionally qualified, been employed for more than a year and I still live by their rules. This wouldn’t be so bad if they were simple, logical rules meant for my safety and protection. Some of them are, but most of them make up the bars of my cage. A lot more of are in place because I’m female.
I grew up to be a pretty normal person, if I say so myself. I sometimes think that it’s a small wonder I didn’t grow up into a shy, non-confrontational, keep-my-head-down-at-all-times type of a person. I’m not ranting and raving against my parents here; that’s not what this post is for. I get that all they wanted was to keep me safe. But their ideas of danger and threats are very different and all encompassing and so of course they want to protect me from EVERYTHING.
They were (are) looking out for me but it translates into something else altogether. That they don’t trust me enough to take care of myself. That they don’t think I’m capable of taking sound decisions. That they don’t think I can be a good judge of character and pick my friends carefully. That they don’t care about my opinion because considering all of the above I’m clearly not entitled to one. That they want me get by in life, flying under the radar when all I want is to shine.
I know that my “translations” were not exactly black-and-white. They were colored by a young woman’s craving for the life she saw others live in movies and in books. I’m older now and I know better. I know which battles to pick and which to ignore. I don’t let those frequent “NOs” faze me out. My friends have also taken this in stride and are ever supportive of my curfews. Made me the butt of a lot of jokes, but it comes with the territory. Most of the time, I give in to these restrictions but when its something I really want to do, I lie and do it anyway.
Got to live, not merely survive.