Thursday, April 14, 2011

why i stayed away from home. the true story.

i've always been afraid of flying,
but you can't blame a girl for trying.
-Lasso, The Band Perry

i think perhaps i haven't been clear when speaking about what prompted me to leave san antonio, and stay away for seven(ish) years.  i wasn't running away from home, or my parents.  in fact, i was so close to them (and my sisters) that it was (and continues to be) hard to be away from home.

i would hate for my friends and family to think of ernest as my "escape".  he's so much more than that.  moving in with him wasn't a decision i made based solely on the fact that i could not get along with my dad when i was a teenager living under his roof.  there were more underlying reasons for our constant arguing and my need to defy him at all costs.  but once i grew up, and gave my parents more than enough reason to believe me an adult, our relationships changed and my parents have been my constant and most sought after advisers since i left home.

so it wasn't to get away (or stay away) from my parents that guided me to choose moving in with ernest.  it was more the fact that i wanted to build something separate from my previous life.  i was not ready to "settle down".  there were so many more experiences to be had and memories for me to make.  and i didn't want to depend on my parents anymore.  i realized early on that in order to become fully independent, i had to live it.  you know, i had to learn how to budget, how to save, and what an exhilarating experience it can be to pay for something on your own (like a trip to nashville, or a macbook).

and look what my decision has afforded me!  since graduation i've lived in philadelphia, traveled to new york city, long island, washington dc, hosted my sisters in the northeast and took them to see the sights, moved to new orleans, experienced mardi gras, had several valuable jobs, etc., etc.  none of which would have been half as easy or possible had i moved back home.

ernest hasn't been my escape, not in any way.  he's been my companion, my partner-in-crime.  and we both know that.  we share everything, we split the bills (fairly, he does make more than i do) and the chores, and most importantly, we both work hard to afford what we want and we both strive for more in our future.  this isn't a one-sided partnership.

all of this is to say, i hope that my family knows i would have done it anyway.  even if ernest had never happened back into my life, i would have found a way to strike my own path separate from theirs.  because even though every time i look in the mirror i want to change things (hair color, flatter tummy, bigger boobs!?), that doesn't take away from the fact that my reflection shows me a strong, independent woman.  i've taken care of myself and i can take care myself.

my point is that if i am to be an example, then let it be that i struck out on my own and became an independent adult, not that i found a man to take care of me so that i could get out of my parents house.  the latter shouldn't even be an option, it shouldn't even be a thought.

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