To My Parents
Dear Mom and Dad,
I know we don’t communicate very often, and the occasional Skype call doesn’t make up for only seeing you every 8 months. I know, it was my choice to move away, but if you’ll let me just talk for a moment there’s a few things I want you to know.
I struggle, and I struggle often. Worrying about whether I’ll run out of money is the worst part. That being said, even if I did run out of money, I wouldn’t be able to ask you for some. I’m far too proud. I know it’s childish, but if it did get that bad I would probably lie before I tell you about what’s really going on. Or perhaps I’d just avoid talking about it, which is how I am with a lot of things. I know that by coming here I will never be able to truly come home. I hope you understand why.
A year ago I was diagnosed with anxiety. It makes sense, given the move and all the changes, and how I knew no one. I felt cut off from the world and was scared I wouldn’t like it here. I was worried I’d have to admit that it was stupid for me to come here on my own, and that I’d have to come crawling back. I still have anxiety problems. I can manage it much better, and my life is way better now that I feel like I belong here. But you should know, this is home for me now. And I have no plans to ever come back to the city you raised me in. That city depresses me in ways I don’t understand, and I’ll never be able to live there. People still ask me if I’m going to go back once my degree is done. I tell them I’m not sure, but I already know the answer with certainty.
Falling in love with James was a big part of my decision to come here. And yes, I know how stupid, naive, and risky that was. Luckily things are working out well between us. He treats me well. He calms me when I’m anxious. And he has loved me through the worst of my anxiety and stood by my side. We are moving in together in September. I haven’t told you yet because I know you’ll tell me it’s a bad idea. I already moved across the country to be with him, this can’t be more risky than that. I love him. I can see us getting married one day. It means a lot to me that you liked him when you met him. His parents are wonderful to me, too, and I can always come to them for help. They’re like a second set of parents to me here, and sometimes I need that.
Finally, I’m sorry if my decision to leave hurt you. You handled it very well, and let me go when I needed to. You gave me everything, but what I really needed was one thing you could never give me: independence. I still need you in my life at times. Sometimes I feel so homesick that I want to throw everything away and come home. And then I realize that things will look better in the morning when I’m not scared and alone, and they do. I’m doing well on my own as an adult, and I’m finally believing that this was a good choice to come here. I’m building a life for myself here. I’m happy.
I know it was hard for you to let me, your youngest child, go. I hope you can understand why I needed to do it. And I hope you can forgive me for running far away.
I love you,