This might seem to be a silly question. It’s something you did many years ago; perhaps you can barely remember. Where did you go? To work? To college? To an apartment? To a volunteer agency? Nearby? Or far away?
Wherever you went, your family had an influence on this earliest process of becoming an adult. This is a time for differentiating from the family as a whole and launching into your own life. The beginning of self definition.
Our daughter, and youngest child, is off to college in a few days. And hopefully, we are supporting her in stepping into her next chapter. I want her to know that we have great faith, not only in her intelligence but in her ability to face life. We’ve taught her all we can. Now it is her chance to figure out what works for her – and what doesn’t. Who she wants to be in this world and what matters to her.
I hope we’ve supported that all along. But this is a special time. And this process will have a powerful impact on her ability to grow into adulthood and lead herself.
I hope we’ve done it well.
How did you leave home? Hopefully, you were given “permission” to decide who you wanted to be and what was important to you. What part of that process is unfinished?
We all have some challenges in becoming independent with and from our families. A few suggestions to move you forward:
- You might have a conversation with family members about your growing into adulthood.
- Consider the context in which you first left home – the historic and social context, what was happening in the rest of your family at the time, your family culture?
- How did these impact your family’s reaction to your creating independence?
The best leaders are those who are able to know themselves and lead themselves before leading others.