Things I Wish I Could Tell My Parents In My 20s

Things I Wish I Could Tell My Parents In My 20s
Daryil For Homegrown

“One and a half spoon of sugar, a teabag, mixed with half cup of water and a spoon of milk.”

In the swirls of that morning tea like an astronaut spacewalking, I see myself, trying hard to find ground in no gravity. I can’t help but think the last two years weren’t supposed to look like this.

All those Pinterest boards of my favourite Esben Klint lamps and imagined conversations with friends in the balcony of a home of just “my own” were supposed to be lived realities by now. Instead, I find myself sharing the room with my sibling in our family home.

On most days, my parents are what I would call ‘moderately tolerable.’ On some rare days they almost make for good housemates, they don’t ask me too many questions, let me be and most importantly almost manage to not pick a fight with me.

But it’s been 2 years of living with them after 4 years of thinking I’d never have to do this again. Honestly, on most days we are just walking on eggshells, trying hard to bear with each other.

My conversations with friends now comprise of my best friend calling me with an “I can’t live them anymore, I need a vacation, they are irritating me again” while my other friend goes “Why is it so tough to live with them” and a third friend just straight up leaves for another city because there is only so much of your parents you can take after a point.

Don’t get me wrong, none of us hates our parents, but there is just so much we wish we could tell them. I was curious to find out what’s weighing heavy on the 20-somethings-mind so I asked a few friends and people on Instagram to tell me what they’d like to tell their parents.

1. “I was depressed.”

“I am lonely.”

“I want your validation.”

2. “Online friends are REAL friends!”

3. “Not all of us want to procreate.”

4. “I can’t get myself to forgive you for all the ways in which you fucked me up.”

5. “I want to move in with my girlfriend.”

6. “I want to stop working for a while and go MIA!”

7. “I have a boyfriend.”

8. “I don’t give a fuck what other people say and would love if you didn’t either.”

9. “A lot of stuff.”

“I’ve seen you change, be kinder towards yourself. Seek help in trouble, you don’t have to keep fighting silent battles and drain yourself + despite stigma, therapy WILL help. I promise.”

“I love you but it feels strange to say it.”

“I wish you understood me better and our relationship was different.”

“You’re only getting older, please relax, have fun and unwind whenever possible. Do more things that make you happy.”

“I wish the resentment I grew up with wears off and I’m able to embrace your presence more.”

10. “I am seeing a therapist.”

11. “I don’t think you both are compatible, why can’t you just get divorced.”

12. “Stop being obsessed about getting me married.”

13. “Mental-health?”

14. “Thanks for the childhood trauma, my friends think I’m funny now.”

15. “I don’t have a career plan. But also I don’t want you to make one for me. Just listen and support me. Don’t rush to find a solution.”

16. “I wish you didn’t place my worth on marks, now I can’t stop placing my self-worth on how productive I am.”

17. “Sex after marriage is just the shittiest concept by society.”

18. “We out here getting legit pregnancy scares.”

19. “I wish you weren’t so mean to me, would have prevented me from dating men who were the worst to me.”

20. “I am gay.”

21. “I have an entire life you are missing hearing about because you judge too easily.”

22. “Please express your love through a physical love language like hugs.”

23. “No, waking up early won’t solve all my problems and the phone isn’t causing me the goddamn stomach ache.”

24. “I’m more like you than I’m willing to admit.”

In a conversation that extends, a friend of mine tells us on the group chat “ You know what, I just wish they would let me experience life in my way instead of influencing every major decision.” Another friend extends support and says, “I know my parents try but they just end up trivialising my experiences at times”. The first friend takes a moment before sending a rather heartfelt voice note, “I wish they’d express themselves with no reservations, and let me do the same. Without reprimanding me for doing so. I think my parents are really cool people, outside of being just parents. I wish to get to know them as people, not as parents if they’ll allow me and I wish they were interested in knowing me too.”

Most days at home I feel I’m a character from Disney’s Hannah Montana, where my double lives aren’t half as interesting as hers but are just as chaotic and worlds apart. There is a version of me my parents know, a version that doesn’t really match up to the version my friends get. I’m a lot cooler and more laid back than my parents believe.

And I don’t think there’s any metaphorical wig that I have to remove for them to see that.

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