When I turned 18 I wanted to leave home so bad. I had just gotten let go from my job and I was finally An adult that could make my own decisions and nobody could stop me. So what did I do? I went and got a kitten. Yes a kitten that is now my baby. I got her from a home filled with all kinds of animals and for days I went to that house and played with one kitten out of the three litters that were around. She was so tiny but she was also quite a fighter. She loved shoulders and would often fall asleep on them. She liked jacket pockets and laying on your lap. As long as you were petting her she would fall asleep quickly. Eventually I managed to convince those that didn’t want to let her go. She kept coming to me every time I visited and they just knew it would be wrong to take away a human that the kitten had chosen. That day I left with a kitten in my lap as I drove and kept her warm. Instantly I was in love with her. She was so small and so cute. She stared at me the entire ride to the house and I knew that she was curious to the new life ahead of her.
For a week I kept her in my home as I packed up the things I was going to take with me. I was leaving home for the first time, all by myself. I was excited and I knew that this was going to be quite the experience. The plan at the moment was to leave home and go live with my Grandmother up in Michigan where I would stay with her until I found a job and then from there I would move into my own apartment and once we were settled (the kitten and I) I would go back home and pack up the rest of my stuff and bam, I would have my own home, my own place and I even had my first pet. Little did I know that it wouldn’t work the way I wanted but, it started this endless thirst I have for adventure and travel.
So of course I did what most people do when they are celebrating a new chapter in their life. Party. I partied with a couple of friends of mine and made sure to do what I could to leave with a bang. Fast forward to a week later and I am packed up, car is ready, kitten and litter box are loaded and I am on the road. A long, long road to Michigan where I had planned to start over. With my kitten in the passenger seat and the music set up to an unforgivable volume I drove like my life was worth a million bucks. Of course my kitten Cinnamon Spice was not very excited about this car ride and was making it clear with her verbal abuse as we drove. Taking it all in stride I just drove and talked to her about all kinds of things. Eventually she fell asleep to my voice and the persistence of NOT letting her out of her cage no matter how much she protested.
Once we had made it to this "new destination" I got flooded with hugs from my cousin and kisses from my Grandmother. I then proceeded to take the bags down to the basement along with Spice since it was going to be where we were staying for the time being. We got comfortable and then two and a half months of glory and freedom were at my feet. For me it really started when we went to my cousin’s birthday party. We were camping out and of course, drinking like people do. While I was there I had my first taste of adulthood. I mean, being eighteen, just out of the house, surrounded by people who were from six months to five years older than me definitely made me feel like I was a part of the world. All these people around me became friends of mine during this chapter in my life and even now some still are ok. I won’t say I have stayed friendly with all of them but for the most part I have one or two that I still communicate with via the internet. But the party was loud, was filled quickly with most being drunk, swimming in the lake, eating hot dogs and hamburgers, and all of us just letting go of everything that was troubling us to have a good time. It was a real taste of being under no obligation to anything or anyone. It was the real world at my feet as well as in my new found party status.
I will say that all the decisions I made that night are cringe worthy and questionable. In the situation I was in I would call it sort of like a runners high or a drunken stupor. It’s just when everything feels like its ok because you are making the decisions and not someone else so you of course do the things you wouldn’t have done before you became an adult since you think you know what you’re doing but really you don’t. That was most definitely my mind set when I was at that party. In a single night, I had made around ten new friends who were all terrible influences in my decision making, I had hooked up with a guy from the area, drank disgusting beer that can be described as horse******but it was cheap and a party so it was expected, I didn’t sleep for more than probably half an hour in total. Swam in a lake that was probably disgusting and full of all kinds of who knows what, and finally got influenced to take a hit off of a cig, Which was very weird and not for me. Yet I did all that in a single night without thinking of what would come after. Yet I also just didn’t care. Crazy how an age can make everything just flip in your mind. From child to adult we became two separate beings. From one of innocence to one of the unknown.
The next day we all had to pack up and head home. Most of us hungover from the festivity but those sober enough got to drive. I knew right then and there that something had been flipped in me as a person. People say that eighteen is the age where everything just slips and changes. I agree with the statement and I do think that it is eye opening when you have all these decisions to make and nobody else to take the blame if anything goes wrong except for you because you are now responsible for what you decide. Those two and a half months taught me a lot about who I am as a person and how people viewed me as an "adult". There was so much judgment from so many people and there was so much that I didn’t know like I do now. Yet that is the whole point of having that first taste of freedom. It’s supposed to tell you who you are as a person. It’s supposed to show you what you do when you are faced with real world problems. For me it was an eye opener to what I wanted. It opened a door for me that I didn’t even imagine was possible. A shy girl who almost always wanted to be alone as a child became this person who now seeks and wants the adventure. It made me do almost a complete 360 from who I was to who I am.
If you haven’t had that first taste of freedom yet, I am sure you will sometime soon in your lifetime but tread lightly for it can either make you or break you.
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