Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Free Spirit of My Childhood

What happened to the days when we would go to birthday parties just to have fun as long as our schedule permitted?  Now it seems we can't RSVP to an invitation before asking our friends if they are going and finding out who else is invited.  You can't show up on your own at a party you were invited to, you have to "go with" someone.

When did we become so afraid of independence?  During this age of drivers licenses, we all claim that the accompanying freedom is the sweetest part.  Freedom from parents that is.  Freedom to be with our friends.  This feeling of a need to always be with someone perplexes me.

Other than a crazy busy schedule, the main reason I never saw Frozen while it was in theaters is because I didn't have anyone to see it with (anyone who hadn't already seen it).  Going to the movie theaters solo is unheard of.  And lonely.  It seems that whenever I want to go somewhere, the first thing I must do is find someone to go with me.  I can't remember the last time I rode my bike alone and I don't believe I've ever gone to go get food by myself, even it's just a drink at Jamba Juice or a Taco Bell drive-through.

Is this one of the reasons why college seems so scary?  We'll have to rebuild our social lives from scratch.  If we go any distance from home for college, we'll likely lose most of the people we typically go out and do things with.  I have a comfortable web of friends built up and going to college is a giant, independent step away from all of them.  Who am I going to eat lunch with now?  Who will be my go-to people when I need to get some shopping done?  Who will I immediately lock eyes with when the teacher announces a group project?

I'm beginning to discover that I may have a fear of being alone in public.  Studying at the library?  That needs to be a study group.  Am I afraid of how society views people who are alone?  Or am I afraid of facing the world on my own?

Regardless of the reason, I'm excited to face this fear at the same as I face college.  No doubt I will find myself on my own quite a bit, especially often at first.  Even though there thousands and thousands of people at college, it'll be hard to find someone who wants to go eat at such and such place at such and such time.  I won't be living at home for the first time in my life so I'll be forced into a world of independence and I'm curious to see how I respond to the responsibility.

I want to recapture the free spirit of my childhood.  I want to go places and do things because I want to, not because all my friends agreed to go together.  I don't want to have to stay home because I couldn't find anyone to go with me.  I don't want to be slowed down by always traveling in a group.  I want to RSVP for myself once again.