Today I had a bit of a dilemma. I really felt like writing a blog post but at the same time I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to write about. Yet the urge was strong so I figured I’ll just start writing and see where it takes me.
These last couple of weeks I’ve been going through one of the biggest changes I’ve ever experienced. I’m learning to find my own way, to be my own person. Now I know it sounds really vague but that’s the best way I can put it into words.
I’m 24 years old now, yet for the most of these years I was still a child. Because I am living away from my family in a foreign country, somehow it seemed like I was already all grown-up and independent. Yet in reality, even on my 24th birthday last month I was still a big child.
Let me explain what I mean. First of all, I never took responsibility for my life and the decisions I was making. My attitude was more like: “this thing might be interesting, let’s see what everyone else thinks of it. I relied so heavily on my family. Every single step I took, I had to know that they approve of it. “Should I do it? Is it worth it?” I wouldn’t move a finger without someone else’s stamp of approval.
Naturally, when I experienced difficulties I’d run back to them crying: “This is not working out, it’s too hard, I’m not good enough”. I’ve never learnt to make my own decisions and find my own solutions to the problems I was facing because I blindly relied on someone else to be there for me, to stroke my head, to feel sorry for me and to tell me what to do. I always blindly relied on this idea that if things don’t work out, my family will just take me back in and I’ll live the rest of my life as a big child, dressed and fed and thoroughly incapable of experiencing the world on my own.
I guess this is partly due to my mother and my grandmother sort of spoiling me when I was growing up. I was an only child, a precious jewel, and I was really the main focus of their lives. I was constantly told what to wear, what to eat, what time I should be back home, whom it’s safe to spend my time with. Don’t get me wrong, I was loved like not many children are loved, but at the same time I was controlled so much in my life that I’ve learnt to rely on my family for everything. Everything they said I took as a complete and undeniable truth. I still have an immense feeling of guilt whenever I do something against the principles that I was brought up with. I never realised that most of my peers never experienced this amount of control in their lives, and that’s why I always felt so different, so thoroughly unprepared to face life and its trials. I was still so absorbed into my childhood fairytale that I wasn’t able to burst its bubble and step out into the world which I longed to be part of, but seemed to be entirely incapable to survive on my own.
Then last week I got into a massive argument with my mother and I suddenly got so angry. It took me a couple of days to realise where this anger was stemming from. As much as I love my family to bits, I don’t want them to be making all my decisions for me anymore. I don’t even want to consider going back to my safe, sheltered childhood life as an option. I am capable of making my own way in the world, creating my own life and breaking this fairytale bubble, even if it means I don’t have its safety anymore. I don’t want that control in my life anymore. I’m making my own decisions now. Good or bad, they are my own. I used to think I was incapable of this independence, of this life where I take full responsibility for my actions and decisions, but you know what? I am. For the first time in my life, I’m pursuing a career that I really want to pursue, I’m creating my own life and making my own decisions. Thankfully, I have some good friends to talk to when I’m feeling down, but who will not try to control me or influence my decisions too much.
I feel like this post got way too personal, but at the same time I quite like it. One of the major things we’re learning at drama school is being completely comfortable with yourself and your vulnerability in front of the others. To not be ashamed of it, but show it for what it is, because these vulnerabilities are part of what makes people so beautiful and so interesting.