One of the bravest decisions of my life was to move away after a heated argue from home right after I turned 18.
I chose the coldest night of the year and I went to our abandoned weekend house – the place we’d visit once a year and none of us ever slept there. The place waited for me with walls and windows – but practically no insulation and no water or gas inside. Electricity there was but no heating. So I roughed an unforgettable night in -10 °C. It was one of many to follow. The conditions didn’t improve significantly through the winter (one night, drunk, a throw my keys from the bed and it broke the window: it didn’t change the temperature).
Although I had money, I decided to live on minimum expense. While my clothes were washed by my friends’ mothers, I printed fake cantine tickets (and was busted but with no consequences), found food on the street – and I clearly remember: I spent 19 euros during the first 30 days. Some of it for the cheapest available alcohol.
Although I spent much of my time at friends’ I returned every night to the little house, as if a loyal lover.
I stayed 4-5 months and then returned home to prepare for the final exams – and to leave for new destinations during the summer.
There were plenty of reasons why I left home. To become an adult. To experience independence. To try myself. To find a worthwhile challenge. To get away from boring everydays. But I think the most important reason was leaving frustration behind. It might sound stupid that dealing with so many discomforts including biking 20 kms daily, having issues with washing myself and my clothes was for leaving the frustration of a couple of hours of arguing at home: but there is a certain logic in this (I hope). I couldn’t stand senseless arguments and the role of a child. I couldn’t stand the authority and “knowledge of life” that my parents thought they possessed. I couldn’t stand being helpless in changing my own life.
But I had no issue suddenly becoming celebrated (by some fellow students) and hated (by teachers and other fellow students), withstanding cold and pain, losing weight, changing my lifestyle or facing new problems. Quite the contrary.
During those couple months I spent my days with very little distractions. I took going to school granted. So the time outside of it was the life I could control. As spending time “at home” was no option because of the cold I spent the better part of the afternoon in the library, reading. I checked my emails (a new thing back then) once a day. I had no electronic devices apart from my non-smart phone. I spent hours with friends and new friends-to-be many nights of the weeks. I ate less and biked more than ever.
It was the period of life that taught me the most about not being afraid. About surviving on bare minimum: money and living conditions.
And no matter how noble it all might sound: looking back, I think the main reason for leaving was just trying to get really far away from frustrations I couldn’t handle any more.
It might take away much of the noble angle of this story: but it makes it real too. Even any country that fights for independence: don’t they fight frustrations they can not bear any more?