The First Taste of Freedom

Dearest Reader,

Growing up, my parents were quite strict and placed restrictions on us with good reason – to protect us, educate us and ensure we become decent human beings.

But some rules seemed a little unnecessary. So when I moved out at 19, breathing in the fresh air of freedom, I was determined to work through a list of things that used to be forbidden and that I couldn’t wait to finally do!

1.Going to bed late

Of all the people I have ever met in my entire life, I had the strictest bedtime hours I’ve ever heard of.

Until the age of 11, I had to go to bed at 6.30pm on school nights.


In summer, at that time the sun is still shining and all the other kids are still playing outside!

Once I turned 12, I was allowed to stay up until 8.30pm (the height of luxury at the time!)

At 16, until 9.30pm.

Even when I turned 18, and was technically no longer to be told what time to go to bed, my mother still anxiously reminded me of the time when it hit 10pm.

In my parent’s defence, not a day went by where they didn’t read a story to me before kissing me goodnight, and I was allowed to read in bed once I could do it myself, but still dude.. 6.30pm!

I couldn’t wait to make my own schedule and do whatever I want! I stayed up till midnight! 1am! 2am! Woohoo!

2. Black nail polish

I don’t know why this was such a big concern in my home, but my parents would not allow me to wear black nail polish. Maybe it looked like the devil, maybe it just creeped them out, but I had to choose other colours.

Naturally, I bought black nail polish and used it for the first time. Nobody could stop me!

3. A thumb ring

Again, my parents felt that thumb rings are just a little too rebellious and would eventually lead to tattoos, drugs and my ultimate demise.

Since they were feeding me, I had to obey their rules and only wore rings on approved fingers, namely the ring finger.

But as soon as I moved out, I bought myself a thumb ring.

4. Not washing the dishes

We all had to help around the house, and my horrible task included the dishes. Every day, after lunch, the family vacated the kitchen and I had to fix it; I was not to do anything else before the kitchen was clean. It is by far the housework chore I detest the most to this day.

I could not wait to have lunch and just throw the dishes in the sink and not wash them.

Nobody harassed me about it, nobody reminded me of them, and they just sat there, until I was good and ready to wash them.

5. Watching TV

My parents restricted my TV access quite severely, the underlying thought behind it being that I would be inactive, that TV fries your brain and damages your eyes, and that I should be socialising or doing something productive instead.

In addition, we only had one TV, and being by far the youngest person in the house, I was never in charge of the remote or involved in any decision-making process when it came to what we were watching that evening.

When I was finally the queen of the remote, I spent hours watching brain-frying TV, at all times of the day and whatever I wanted. What a time to be alive!

When I finished doing these things, I made a point of calling my mother and telling her vindictively that I’ve purposely broken her rule and done all the things she so furiously tried to avoid.

All she did was laugh, and ask: “So, did you enjoy doing these things? How did they work out?”

I wanted to say it was all awesome. But it wasn’t.

I was really sleepy in the lectures after staying up all night.

The black nail polish made me look like a Goth.

The thumb ring hurts if I write long essays with a pen. (Though despite the pain, 10 years later, I still haven’t taken it off!)

The dishes were really hard to clean once everything had dried on the plates.

And I really had a sore head and eyes from all that TV.

I hate to admit it. But mom was right. Again.

One thought on “The First Taste of Freedom

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