Have previously pondered this question….Felt it was significant to acknowledge the moment or instance which created a line in the sand between being a mere living-for-the-moment adolescent and evolving into an actual responsible adult.
Assuredly everyone will be able to recall when they drew their own line in the sand. For me, this mark of distinction occurred when my parents sold the home in Highland Park, Ill, I grew up in from ages 11-21.
To this day, I still miss that house or rather I think I long for the comfort and sense of nurturing I got from knowing I could always go back to that place. For upon entry, my adult worries about life in the Big City of Chicago would simply fall away as I was lulled into what I now know to be a false sense of security and insulation from the rest of the world.
Granted my father would badger me to turn off the lights when I left a room and not use all the paper towels each time I cleaned up a spill. But, generally speaking, life was pretty much easy street at my parents.
A quick 20-minute drive outside of the city gave me all the serenity I needed to believe that everything would work out not matter how big small a life predicament I was facing. After a few hours or an overnight stay, I would feel somehow restored and ready to go back downtown to slay any particular dragons that needed facing.
But once they sold the house and it become another family’s property, I no longer had that idyllic place where I could retreat away from the world. Sure, one day, I could buy my own cottage in the woods or as others do a second home in upstate Michigan.
But it will never replace the home where my worries ceased being my burdens that I needed to handle as an adult.
Ever since, my parents moved to a senior living community and have told me I needed to be 65 to live there, I have needed to be accountable in all areas of my life without a place to retreat to when the going got tough and I desperately needed to escape.
Worse after they sold ‘our’ home, I realized with much anguish that no matter how bad things got financially or emotionally, I no longer had a safety net where I could relocate to temporarily. I was literally ON MY OWN sink or swim.
For me this is what it means to be an adult….a life where there is no vacation from the real obligations of the world. No more laissez-faire attitude about expenses, I now have to squander my resources and be mindful about things like remembering to turn off the lights and not going overboard with my rampant use of paper towels.
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