There are times when the world scares me.
I'm bombarded with realities, both harsh and common, that were not brought to my attention in my youth.
The world presents itself with such promise. Adults seem like glorious people, already grown up and shining with experience and intellect. The books you read tell you that the world is yours to conquer; if you heart is set on something, it will happen.
That's what they tell you, anyway. Or what they told me, at least.
Reality is a crushing thing.
As childhood caves into adolescence, and from then on into adulthood, the enchantment can be lost. No longer do all adults seem like the wonderful people I used to admire; sure, I still admire some, but I cannot blindly admire them all anymore. There are lies, secrets, little fearful things they did not tell me about when I was younger.
They did not tell me how terrifying it would be to realize that I couldn't remain in the safety of home and high school. They told me I would look upon my forward movements with pride and courage; there were no warnings of second guessing oneself, or doubting one's ambitions.
When the bouts of loneliness and homesickness strike, they are small but so significant. To a girl who once spent every day in the same safe, structured, comfortable routine of waking up at home to family, going to school with friends, and returning to that warm, welcoming home, the larger world is suddenly an intimidating place. When company is hard to come by, I want to return home to the friends and family I know and love so dearly. I want to sleep in my own bed, in my own room, just one door away from my brother, mother, and father. I want to enjoy game shows in the evening with the family, wrapped up in a blanket and sitting on the couch while we all laugh. I want to bury my face into the fur of a beloved pet, and hold them close.
Perhaps I was too sheltered, and that is the source of these feelings. But I am not afraid to admit I need others. I am weak at the moment, easily compared to a fledgling learning to fly for the first time. I need the support of loving family and friends, there to catch me if I fall. And once I can fly on my own, I will still need them for times when I grow tired and weary. I will need shoulders to cry on, arms to hold me, warm smiles to brighten my day, and words of encouragement to fill my head. Surely these things, summed up in the words 'support system', are things that every living being needs? I can't be alone in needing love and support.
So if you're family, friend, or even a fellow fledgling like myself, I will apologize for my moments of weakness, in which I will sound like a prattling child. But I ask you to forgive me for these moments, and not to leave me. Instead, show me patience. I will be your shoulder to lean on if you will be mine. No one wants to be alone in a world where reality can be cruel.
Let's be fledglings together.