I had a serious case of separation anxiety when I was little. That may be hard to believe after looking at my last few years’ worth of traveling and venturing somewhat out in life. Even going to school proved to test my anxiety and it was a struggle every morning. If my morning routine was slightly upset or if I knew my parents would not be home while I was at school, my day got off to a rocky start. I enjoyed school, but I did not like leaving my parents or being away from home too long. It was complicated.
Aside from my separation anxiety, I had a hang up when it came to sleeping over at other people’s houses. I had zero desire to spend the night at anyone’s house; it did not matter who the person was. I cannot count the times I would be brave going into a sleepover but end up crying to come home around bedtime. Luckily, my parents always came to get me, and it helped that these little trial runs were only five minutes down the road at my grandparent’s. I knew better than to pull a stunt like that too far away from home, but it would not have flown regardless.
I finally got gutsy enough to spend the night my grandparent’s house, and my first successful sleepover went off without a hitch. It is not like I was signing up for a horrible night; I just could not figure out why anyone would give up sleeping in their own bed to go away to sleep in someone else’s. I never said my kid logic would ever make sense because my hindsight of my angst towards sleepovers is still a mystery to me.
Looking back at my adamant stand against sleepovers for years, I was well into elementary school before I could sleep at a relative’s house, let alone a school friend’s house. That phase in life still took a few more years before I could commit to a slumber party. Now, I can freely go and not think twice about it. As evidenced by my stays abroad, I have come around to liking the idea of going someplace new and exciting.
It makes me laugh at my childish ways compared to how much I looked forward to leaving home to go to Europe. I am reminded of one of my favorite movies and the scene where Princess Mia marched in her parade to the Kelly Clarkson song, “Breakaway.” I see myself in the girl who was timid and sucking her thumb, and I would like to think I have grown and am beginning to spread my wings. That song became my anthem when it came time to do just that: spread my wings and learn how to fly. Oh, how times have changed since the days of my sleepover no go.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2017