Once upon a time, in a place far from here, there lived a young and carefree teenager. His parents loved him very much, although this young teenager; wanted nothing more than to go out into the big, bad world and make a go of things for himself. He was fifteen years of age and life lay fresh and willing about his tender, innocent feet, like a brand new pair of Nike sneakers. Spring was smiling just around the next corner and he just couldn’t wait to begin writing his own memories. His parents were obviously not too happy about his decision to move away. His mind was set though. He explained to them, he wouldn’t be moving too far away, just that it was time to leave the family nest, time to spread his wings, reach out and build his own nest. Besides, they could always keep in touch by telephone.
What could they do? Their son was fast growing into a young man. They had watched him learn to walk, helped him learn to ride his first bicycle. They had watched him laugh and had seen him cry, had taken him to kindergarten and had prepared him for his school days. They had seen the days wash over him, puberty and his first steady, girlfriend. And now the time had arrived, was time to let him go.
The next day was a big day for this young and carefree teenager. It was the first day of the rest of his life. He kissed his mother on the cheek and checked his pockets for loose change. The sun was shining brightly and a dusty, yellow double-decker bus was due at any moment. He wondered down to the bus stop with a bag of clothing, he had packed the night before. He knew exactly where he was going, his destination, a picturesque, little seaside town, no more than ten miles south. He had always dreamed of living there, had always wanted to live in that magical place by the sea.
In time, the dusty, yellow double-decker bus pulled up and he boarded it, leaving his old world behind. The adventure had begun, his future fast becoming his reality. The seaside town gradually lifted out of thick, conifer forests and well-worked gardens of brightly colored, flowering arrays. People hustled and bustled along sun danced, cobbled sidewalks; with picnics and sun cream. Yes, finally a little piece of heaven was one with him.
The first thing he had to do was to find a place to stay. Luckily, his parents had saved money in an account for such an eventually. Then his next job would be to find work. He wasn’t in a hurry though, the weather was good and the nights were warm. He decided to sleep rough a while and save money. He was young and ready for anything, happy and totally confident; he would always be in control of his life.
Most of us recognize such a story as this, the tale of transformation from dependent child to independent adult. It’s a step we all take at one time or another, it’s inevitable. When the urge to go it alone really kicks in, there’s no turning back. The family nest can offer a temporary retreat, although sooner or later, that call from adulthood is bound to creep out from its hiding place. ‘Once upon a time,’ usually implies a very nice story and a happy ending. Not this story though. This is a true story about how a friend of mine became so caught up in his dream that it ate him up.
In my next post, I will tell you more
But until then, be safe