Is it sad that a Britney Spears lyric is relevant to my life right now? "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman." Sure this lyric proves how much of a 90’s child I am, but it's also pretty deep for a cheesy pop song. I've been feeling conflicted about my age and level of maturity.
I'm twenty, but I kind of feel more like I'm 20 going on 16. My parents have kept me pretty sheltered all my life. I was never allowed to go to high school parties, or play at my neighbor's houses when I was little. Everyone had to come to my house so we could be "safe" and supervised. I didn't get my license until I was eighteen. Even now that I'm obviously a legal adult, I still have an 11pm curfew. Sure, I'm living at home and respect my parents, but that feels a bit extreme to me. Actually most of the things my parents have kept me from doing, and forced me to do over the years, feel extreme.
I think that in trying to keep me safe, my parents have stunted my adult growth. I'm more at ease hanging out with my sixteen year old sister than a group of twenty-somethings. I've never been interested in things like drinking, drugs, sex, and partying, but I know most people my age have done them all. On one hand, I feel more mature than people my own age. I am proud of the fact that I'm responsible. On the other hand, I feel younger than I actually am because I have no real life experience.
What is normal for a twenty year old girl these days? I've never even had a job. At the same time, I'm responsible for taking care of my house and younger sister while my parents are working. I'm sitting in the carpool lane at after school pick-ups. I'm doing laundry and helping my sister with her homework while others kids away at college are partying it up in the evenings. I feel very conflicted. I want more freedom so I can act like a normal twenty year old, but I don't want to do dumb things. I guess what I'm saying is that I'd just like the opportunity to show my parents that they didn't raise an idiot, and they have a responsible adult on their hands (not a child).
I don't know how to prove to my parents I'm responsible, since I'm not allowed to do anything. I don't want to grow up to fast, I appreciate my childhood. I'm glad that my parents haven't forced me into working to help pay for things like my car. I'd really like to find a job though, so I can help out on my own free will. I’d also like to drop the curfew. Driving at 10pm is really no different than driving at 2am. I'd like to be able to go out with people and not get grilled about who they are. I want to stop having to text my mom every hour and tell her where I am and who I'm with.
I think my mom is so overprotective because she was never a normal twenty year old. She got married when she was seventeen, and by the time she was twenty she already had a baby, me. She's always been a mom, and her mother wasn't overprotective. If anything, my grandmother was under protective. My parents love me and just want me to be safe and have a better life than they did. I understand that. I just can't understand how I'm supposed to have a better life when I'm not allowed to live my life at all.
My question for you: How can you show your parents that you're not a child anymore? How can you gain freedom the responsible way?
Lindsey. Twenty-Five. Currently pursuing a degree in Professional Writing & Film Studies.