Eighteen

Posted by:
Mohana Rupa M. (18)
BITS Pilani, Hyderabad

It’s 11.45 p.m. and I am sitting on the bed with all my electronic devices around me. I am ready to reply “thank you” to all the wishes that I am going to get tomorrow. It’s my birthday. Well, like the past years, I am very excited, there’s going to be cake and a party! Maybe my sleep subsided half in excitement and the rest in an obsession to reply to the wishes.

And now started the rain of messages and phone calls! My excitement knew no bounds until I came across this message from one of my friends: “So finally 18 now!” It was a very normal message, as ordinary as any other. But, I don’t know where all the excitement went after seeing that.

Well, I am 18 now. Officially everyone in society is going to treat me as an “adult” from today. I am no more going to be a kid to everyone. People will start judging me based on my acts not that of my parents. I will be recognized as Rupa, just Rupa, not daughter of Sekhar. I need to face it as “me”.

I am an adult now. All my identities change to a “major” from a child.

I saw my sister celebrate her 18th birthday a few years ago. She was so happy; not a glimpse of tension in her eyes. I remember her exact words. “I have freedom finally! I am 18. I can take care of myself.” I didn’t get the meaning of the words then. But, now I do.

She was so happy and why am I not?

[perfectpullquote align=”right” color=”#d3d9ce” class=”rblog” ]I am responsible for everything the internal “me” says. I’m responsible for how I react and what I do. I am responsible for “me” now.[/perfectpullquote]

I have a different view in comparison to my sister’s. She looked at 18 as the year of her freedom and I look at it as a responsibility. I am going to be responsible for everything that I am going to face. I am responsible for everything the internal “me” says. I’m responsible for how I react and what I do. I am responsible for “me” now.

I don’t have the lap of my mother to lie on if I want to cry. I don’t have the hand of my dad on my shoulder during worries. I don’t have my sister to speak to.

Sitting in this hostel room alone on my birthday, for the first time without my parents, it’s my responsibility to motivate myself. Why are these tears rolling down? No, I’m not crying! I know no one likes it. But, this is life!

On my 18th birthday, I would like to say to my parents: “Dear mom and dad, you made me bold enough to face this society and be responsible. I promise I will never let you down and manage all my duties well. And, yes! I will be responsible for “me”, not letting anyone point a finger either at you or me. Thank you for making me ‘me’!”

I know everyone enjoys freedom. But, you will get the right to enjoy it only if you are ready to take up the responsibility that comes with it.

This article has been published in the September 2016 issue of The Teenager Today.