What a special privilege it is to have parents that love and care about you. I never really thought about this until I went to the depts of the internet on a site called reddit where strangers told me how much they missed their parents. Now, I don’t make it a point to actively think about when that horrible day will come where I can’t talk to my parents about things (I focus on the now) but it still made me think. I think that there is a moment in everyone’s life where they realize that they have grown up—they are on their own. Sure, your parents can still be around but they aren’t the ones supporting you at that time in your life.

 My sister and I

For me, that realization came to me when I was in college. I remember that night almost perfectly, it was about November of December of my freshman year and for some reason I had to go into town by myself. Whether that was to find a book, get something to eat I don’t remember but I do remember sitting down by myself at a bus stop, freezing and wondering where the bus was. I remember being pissed at the bus for being late, being pissed at myself for leaving at such a ridiculous hour, watching my breath come out in huffs as the cold wrapped around me, and feeling not that accomplished. There was snow on the ground and I vaguely remember thinking about Christmas and all of the joyous feelings that came with that holiday for me.

Just then, a family of a mother, father, and child walked by me laughing and talking about a movie that they just saw. At some point the child, a little girl, became scared of something (I think she thought she thought she saw something on the road) and her parents laughed and reassured her. Her father embraced her and picked her up and at that moment I realized that I was alone.

That second I realized that no one knew where I was—there wasn’t anyone to tell where I was. Sure I had friends, but do you update your friends on where you are going? Because if you do this someone please tell me because I haven’t been doing that all 23.5 years of my life. Anyway, no one knew where I was; my parents who cared about me didn’t know and couldn’t know because I was in college, one hour away from them. The struggling child in me thought it would be “uncool” of me to keep calling my parents—I am 18, damnit! I am an adult! (this is so laughable now)– It was in this point that I realized that I only had myself to relay on (and I don’t mean this in a mean or antisocial way, I think that this is something that everyone has to come to terms with at some point in their life). Yes—I did (do) have parents that love and care about me but there just comes a point in your life where you have to realize that you are responsible for you. There are no ifs ands or buts! And yes as an 18 year old girl out in the cold, sitting on a park bench in Amherst, MA on a Sunday night that thought was a little overwhelming.

And after working in the field of work that I do and seeing how some people are out in the world I realized that this little event is something that doesn’t happen to everyone unfortunately. This is a realization that you have maybe because you have people around you that care about you a lot, people who hold you through the good and the bad. Personas que ven todo que tu eres, y te querien igual, como se nada! And a lot of times, folks don’t have that privilege. Whether that happens because of chronic homeless-ness, lack of a role model/someone to teach wtf life is all about (and when I say life I mean like how to work a job, how to pay bills, how to get and maintain credit, fix your car, identify potential harmful people in your life, identify potential harmful people in your love life, etc, etc (double take—and yes, the people that teach you these things can’t foresee everything/anything that your life will hand to you but they are there to guide you and give advice—whether good or bad is for you to decide)). So I am grateful that I am able to have parents that love me and are there for me, friends who do the same, and people that I consider to be mentors. Because it took a while for me to piece this together—out sitting in 40 degree weather waiting for the bus.

But as I gazed into the night sky, I was just really thankful that I had the life that I had. And also to work to end this inequality because everyone should have access to someone who can guild you, be your friend and tell you when fucks ups are abound. Having this person(s) shouldn’t be a privilege (is this post still making sense????). But back onto it, growing up is some hard shit, you meet fucked up people, see fucked up things, but at the same time see beautiful and worthwhile things. Es vida.