Questions from a young adult

Growing up

I received a letter from a young adult who is considering leaving her home town, where her parents serve as a safety net, and going someplace completely different — perhaps out of the country. She asked me a few questions and since I can only answer for myself, I decided to post them here (with her permission).

Could I ask you more about changes when one goes into adulthood and cannot rely on their parents anymore? I’ve asked a lot of people how they liked living as expats/immigrants but I’ve never asked someone on what are good decisions and bad decisions when ’growing up’. I thought that maybe I could ask someone what to do and what not to do when they are thinking of restarting their life in a new country. Could I ask you about what to do and what not to do?

The fact that she is asking, and willing to listen to answers, tells me that she’s already a good few steps down that road of growing up. I believe that one of the main markers of child/teen/young adulthood is self-focus. When we’re young, we see the whole world through the filter of “How does this affect ME? What does it mean for ME?” Maturing into adulthood means asking, “How does this affect and what does it mean for others?” It also means listening to others and accepting that they might actually have something worthwhile to say that we don’t already know ourselves.

And yes, I realize that by this definition, a startling number of people never actually grow up. Which I think is a realistic assessment.

If you have advice or experiences a woman on the cusp of growing up might benefit from, please share them in the comments.

About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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2 Responses to Questions from a young adult

  1. Ann says:

    Be clear in your mind on what your goal is for moving away (or any other big decision) and also how this one move fits in with your overall goals in life. If you are making a big move, as yourself why and look at options. Are there smaller actions that will give you the same effect for less monetary output and upheaval? Are there issues that you are avoiding by leaving? If so, those are better confronted before you leave, or they will follow you. Are you going with someone or to someone? Make sure that you and that someone are able to communicate clearly with each other. If you have an overall plan (and I don’t mean you have to have your career mapped out, but just a vision of what kind of life you want) and this move facilitates or, at least, doesn’t set that plan back, and you aren’t running away from things that really should be faced and dealt with, then you are likely to feel successful with the move. Also, accept any safety nets you are offered- phone numbers of the third cousin who lives in he next city, monetary gifts for an emergency, etc. Life is lived in community, building your communities will be one of the keys to happiness and a successful transition wherever you go.

  2. Lynn says:

    Listen to Ann – she sounds like one gosh darned wise woman! 🙂

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