Giving Back and Adulthood

I have been reflecting a lot on giving back. To clarify this, I mean giving back to people in my life that give so much to me.

I have spent a lot of time in my life being bitter and resentful towards other people in my life. I wouldn’t say I have been unappreciative, just that I took things out on other people and often didn’t think of making an effort to take care of them in any direct or indirect way.

This particularly applies to my parents. I have been very resentful of them for a long time for having me. I still maintain that it is selfish to have children, not that people who choose to have children are bad people, but I think that having children is for YOU, because you want to, not because the child wants to be born. You don’t know what their life will be like. However, I have come to realize that my parents didn’t think about this before I was born. Most people don’t. So it is not their fault. I am here now, and they have been amazing parents to me my ENTIRE life.

And I know I have been really crabby with them a lot when I lived with them. I think this was because their mere presence reminded me that I had to live there, that I didn’t have my own place, that I was stuck there, that I had no independence, etc.

I realize more than ever, being home and living here officially for this last week, how GOOD my parents are to me. I know I have realized this before, always, but now I realize something else: that I want to be good back to them.

I want to not just appreciate their support and love for me, but give this love back through my ACTIONS.

I don’t want to take things out on them. I want to work hard to relieve them of many worries and financial burdens revolving around me. I just want to be more kind and positive.

I used to get bitter about doing those above things, angry that I HAD to do things for someone else. Now, I see it a different way. I CHOOSE to give back, I don’t HAVE to just because they are my parents, I CHOOSE to. I WANT to. I want to be a good person, and be proud of myself for having integrity. I also want to take care of them because they are good people.

This is hard to explain because the other goal I have is to leave my worries about my family worrying about me BEHIND. To just live my own life. But somehow, I can do both of these things: be good to them, and put myself first at the same time. Doing the second one translates around to the first one. They are both about slightly different things. Right now, I just want to give back to my parents by being kind to them and thankful to them. Additionally, I am going to put myself first by not worrying about what they think of me or what I am doing. Interesting contradiction that somehow works in my mind right now. I can do all this by radically accepting that I am an adult now, and acting like one. Also, by telling myself that I CAN BE an adult, I can do it.

I am ready to become an ADULT. I am ready to move into the next stage of my life. B said that to do what’s best for us, for our relationship, I have to do that and stop worrying about what my family thinks about everything, stop worrying about if THEY think I am doing the right things with my mental health and treatment, etc. Because worrying about that impedes me in every way.

Finding this balance is essential to my life. Acting kindly towards my parents is part of being an adult in itself. I no longer want to act like a petulant teenager at 25 years old.

Since I left home for college at the age of 18, I have had a hard time “growing up”. I have realized this before, but now, I am ready to do this. I am ready to force myself to grow up, be confident, just DO things, start my adult life with B, stop worrying about what my family thinks about me. I realize this will take some repititions of radical acceptance, but I am ready to take that leap. Sometimes I still won’t feel ready, and I will have to work on it, but I finally FEEL and SEE the importance of this…for me, for my life with B, even for my parents.

Did you ever have to make a conscious choice to be an adult or start acting like an adult? Or did it just fall into place for you?


4 thoughts on “Giving Back and Adulthood

  1. Katie doll your a gem. So true – on both points. Though they seem contradictory don’t they? I won’t go into the personal situation. But I was thinking of this today when I had the option to donate money towards a cause today. $10. To me – that’s a lot of money. I know that’s pathetic, but it’s true. Years ago it wouldn’t have been a big deal. Now with money being such a scary part of my life, I’m pinching pennies. $10 can get you chicken, potatoes and veggies for the week 😉

    BUT – I donated it. Will it make a difference? Probably not. Was it a waste of money? Probably. Will I do it again – no – because then that’s $20 ! 😉 BUT I was glad that I did it.

    I thought “Money will only flow in once you let it flow out a little – give and take”…

    Or I hope so. (P.S – LOVE your ring!)

  2. Wow. This is so deep and insightful girl… Being kind and doing what’s best for you doesn’t have to be conflicting..
    I thought I was grown up until my parents got divorced a couple of years ago and started behaving like… well not like the people I knew. In a lot of ways. So I had to work on not tying myself so much to them and their feelings to be able to live my own life. And curiously enough that also made me want to be kind to them instead of shying away. I think the moment we liberate ourselves from people (like our parents) is when we realise they aren’t perfect and we can’t expect them to be – because nobody is.

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