I think adulthood – or is it maturity? – is when one is able to speak of a particular chapter, instance, moment from one’s past with tranquility and ease. That moment of clarity is understood when one is able to speak, at last, of an emotionally pivotal and significant period without any tremble or quiver in one’s voice.
This is how I know I have grown (up).
I said these in a sharing session as part of The Company’s leadership development course running from today to Thursday:
“I think my defining moment is an accumulation of small moments, like small ripples that in the end create a huge impact… but if you’re asking specifically for an instance, there is one that comes to mind… I grew up in an okay family – middle class; and I mean, generally we’re doing okay. But there was a period when I was growing up, when my parents’ marriage was turbulent. So I had to grow up faster than others usually do at those ages. I had to absorb many things early. I remember constantly feeling like I was playing two incredibly different roles in and out of school – I was the ace in school, scoring grades and doing this, that; but I would go home and it’d be totally different.
I’d always wanted to study in the States though, because I like the education system – the fact that it’s not two years of mugging for an exam, like in the UK. Then I got in. And I recall it was when I finally had an offer in my hand …that I felt perhaps I shouldn’t go. Things were still messy; my mother leaned on me emotionally. How could I?
And this is where that pivotal moment came. My Eldest Sister – my role model, as you can see here -“ I pointed to the top-left corner of my hand-drawn t-shirt from this morning’s activity in which I’d drawn a book with a pen and the sun rising from behind it; a guiding, shining light, that’s what she is and will always be “-said to me, ‘You need to go. You need to go to learn and discover that your life is yours.’ And she’s right. I left for America and gained perspectives. I understood this with clarity: autonomy. My life is mine – indeed. I was there for six years. Four became six because I continued my masters.”
“Those were six good years?”
“Those were six good years.”