Monday, 17 July 2017

Out Growing Their Shell

I went home to visit my mum this weekend, both kids in tow. My other half was working so I went by myself which was one of the most stressful experiences of my life.

We ate food, saw loads of family, entered a cherry pie eating contest. The usual, you know. It was wonderful and hard work all at the same time.

I love seeing my family. We are very close. Maybe not in distance so much any more (we used to live about 3 streets away from one another), but we speak nearly every day and face time is a  great resource. But I don't regret my move away from them.

Perhaps that makes me an awful daughter/sister/granddaughter? I'm not sure. Maybe. My mum isn't very well and I'm not there for her at every opportunity. I try to do my bit- I call when she's having treatment and we face time with the baby and his smile cheers her up. But even if I did live round the corner, chances are with a baby I'd never get to see her that much anyway. It was hard enough with just one child.

And our move has brought us space- and perhaps closer together as a result of that. But its got me thinking, this visit. About outgrowing your shell.

I remember as a teen I really struggled to find my place in my home town. Not many people moved away from where we lived. You could never add anyone on facebook without friends in common (third world problems right?). It felt claustrophobic and boring, and I wasn't sure who I was and where I fitted in.

I was a loud and proud kind of teen, who stood up for what I believed in. I wasn't always sure what that was and tended to absorb everyone else's views rather than create my own, but I still stood up for them. I was fiercely independent, and determined to get somewhere in life.

I made plenty of mistakes. The thought of most of them make me cringe, even to this day. But I lived I guess. And I learnt.

I look at my nephew, who's 16 now (wtf? How did he get so big?!)


He's going through this phase right now. He's making mistakes by the bucket load. He stays out at stupid hours, he's experimented with drugs. He's made rubbish friends and been lead astray. He's flaky and has an attitude that stinks.

I know that feeling. I remember what it was like to feel comfortable in your home town, but to feel stifled by it, the people and all the memories. I remember how it felt, like your shell was on just a little too tightly.

I wanted to grow, to be my own person. Have my own rules to live by. I wanted adventure and comfort all at once. I was confused about who exactly I wanted to be, and imitated who ever was cool rather than focusing on what I believed in and what I liked. I tried the emo scene, the hippie scene, the clubbing scene, even toyed with travelling- but I'm a home girl at heart. And my home town was very much the wrong scene for me.

It was so hard, and so hard for my parents. I guess this is how my nephew feels now, but watching it from the other side is so frustrating. I've no idea how to reach him, or if we should all just be giving him space and letting him learn. The problem is, when your that age, letting you learn from your mistakes can have life long consequences, least you fuck up your entire future.

But some people don't go through this. I was reflecting on this Saturday night, while waiting for the baby to drift into slumber. Some people seem to fit right in to their home town and never have a problem. They see whats opening up to them- be that clubbing or some other scene, they try it out and find they actually quite like it. They seem to have families they rarely argue with and they stay living at home for much longer than I did (at 18 I was like, see ya!)


Is there a magic secret? Was it just because I was a difficult person? I really envy these people.

Someone once told me "there is more to life than this little town". Maybe I should give my nephew that advice too? But then I don't really want him to leave.

And what about my kids? What if they grow up and feel stifled here? Will they move away? The thought of doing it for my future was scary, but the thought they might do it to me- to leave me, is heart breaking. Is this how my mother feels?

Although I feel the move apart did us all good and provided us with time together that is truly special now, I can't help wondering how I will feel if it happens to me.

#MummyTrails Ponderings

PS: Can you tell I just learnt how to use GIFs?

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