Leaving HomeFriday, August 17, 2018
Leaving home! We’ve all thought of doing it at some point even if we haven’t carried it through. Stepping outside our front door can be a frightening experience or a wonderful opportunity – depending on if we’re pushed out or we walk out. There may be many locks and bolts on the door that keep us prisoner or challenge our sense of adventure – depends on who put them on; us or someone else. It takes courage to leave home. Home is usually a safe place, but if we step outside, into the unknown – anything can happen, so we stay indoors and fear of the unknown stops us from trying.
“When I was Six” was a popular response to the question ‘When did you first leave home & where did you go?’ on my Face Book page *recently. One follower left home and went to the local Park. After a few hours (could have been a few minutes as time flies when you’re having fun) his Dad found him & took him home. No doubt Dad was furious and relieved at the same time to find his Son safe and sound: No doubt Son was furious and relieved at the same time to be found by his Dad. Leaving home seems like a good option when you can’t have your own way, but it’s a scary place when you are small enough to squeeze through the holes in the park hedge the foxes make and young enough to be preyed upon by monsters that live in the woods.
Many leave it much later in life to leave home. Some leave it too late. According to research** at least a third of all women murdered in the U.S. are killed by intimate partners. I’m not here to pass judgment on anyone, but when you know you’ve reached the point at which you need to leave home for your own safety/wellbeing/development, you need to take action and leave, not bury your head in the sand. Life won’t get better. Easier said than done, I know and not everyone has the support needed to leave home – it is a huge, possible life changing, event.
I nearly thwarted my own personal development by passing on the opportunity to go to College. I did get there after a lot of soul searching and some clever persuasion from my Mum. I knew I wanted to carry on with my education but there was a big thing holding me back. My Father had died when I was 14 years old and it was just me and Mum at home. If I left home, my Mum would be alone. From my perspective, leaving home was a cruel and selfish thing to do. From my Mum’s point of view, I was always out ‘doing stuff’ anyway, so it wouldn't make much difference if I wasn’t around as often. Looking back on it, I probably found it more traumatic than she did and was using her as an excuse not to go. It was me who was finding it difficult undoing the locks and leaving home; me who was frightened of opening the door. For Mum, it was probably like trying to coax (squeeze) a determinedly, hesitant cat out of a cat flap for the first time.
So is there a good time to leave home? If your reason for leaving home is because you’re heading towards a better future (e.g., University) then anytime is good. If your reason for leaving home is because you are running away from something or someone, then yesterday was a good time.
Check the locks and bolts on your front door. They need to be in place to keep you safe, not to keep you a prisoner! Maintain them, keep the hinges oiled and always keep the key in a place where you know where to find it.
Keep my contact details to hand as I’m the coaching equivalent of a locksmith – helping you open doors to a better future.