Back when I was a kid, I used to sneak into my parents’ room at night because I was afraid of sleeping in my own room. I was scared of the dark; of the imagined monsters lurking in the closet. So, I had the habit of tiptoeing into my parents’ room because I always felt safer there with them.
In school, I had the habit of willing the hands of time to move faster than normal. I made sure to finish everything quickly so that I could rush home. It’s not because I hated school, but because I wanted to be engulfed by the comforts I only could only feel at home.
So I went to school and went home straightaway – rarely did anyone try persuade me to go someplace else, because they knew I’d choose to crawl back in my safe haven rather than to a place I wasn’t sure I’d have a good time at.
I have always attributed these habits of mine to the closeness I have with my family, but it’s only now that I’m realizing that it might also be because there are a lot of things I’m afraid of – pitch-black rooms, risks, unsafe places, and anything that gives me the feeling of being unsure.
The solutions I came up with when I was younger only worked when I was, well, younger. And now that I’m an adult, I’m beginning to understand that I can no longer seek sanctuary in my parents’ room because the truth is that the little things I used to fear when I was a kid do not even come close to the things I now fear as an adult.
The risks and unsafe places now are a lot more serious, like maybe the place I work or live in and I won’t be able to avoid those. I have to suck it up every single day and just hope against all hopes that I’d be safe wherever I am, wherever I have to be.
Adulthood means a lot of things – adjustments, changes, and most importantly, growing up. Not just growing old, growing up. Because that’s how we learn to face our fears, you know? By growing up and learning to stand up for ourselves no matter how unsafe or unsure we feel.
Your childhood home can still give you the same comfort you felt when you were five, but it can no longer be your hideaway. We have to get out and face adulthood head on without retreating under the covers to avoid things at all costs. And when the dark engulfs you, when the pitch-black world overwhelms you, you have to get up from where you’re sitting and get the hang of switching the lights back on your own. Solely because adulthood means mastering the art of being thrown into places we don’t expect to be thrown and learning to survive with all the means that we could gather.
It’s scary, I know that. But did you really think your mom and dad have known what they were doing since day one? Hell, I’d applaud anyone who knows exactly what they’re doing at the age of 21. I mean, my point is, no one really knows how to handle everything life throws our way, but you know what I think we should do?
Keep going. No matter how afraid or unsure we are.
I get it, childhood days are the fun days. Those were the days that our biggest problems consisted mostly of where we placed our toys, or what color of crayon to choose. Those were the simpler days. But those aren’t the only days that our lives should be made up of.
So, we’ll have the hard days. The days where we’ll experience dilemmas far more serious than what crayon to choose – the grown-up days; the complicated days. But these will be the days where we’ll learn to be the type of person that the younger version of ourselves needed. So these aren’t bad days. These, like those of our childhood times, are good days, too, only confusing. But we need to trust in ourselves that we’ll eventually figure things out. Slowly but surely.
First, flick the lights on and then open the door wide. It’s time to live your life without backing down.