The Most Important Thing In the World

birthdayToday is my birthday. I am 13 years old now. I am officially a teenager.

As far as I know, every teenager should start depending less on their parents, preparing to be weaned from their childhood to the outside world. When they reach the age of 18, they’re ready to embark on their collage life. They’re expected to be independent and live without the help of their guardians. They should be able to be responsible for their own actions and differ between “the good” and “the bad”.

Days before my birthday, mother asked me, “On your 13th birthday, what is your most important thing in the world?”

(I know my mom would ask me again next year)

I looked at my cats and started thinking about how are sleek and graceful they are. How much they enjoy their solitary life. The only times they clash together is when they mate or fight over a prey and territory. In the wild, the surviving cubs in a tiger litter would be weaned after living 2-3 years with their parents. After that they would live on their own and form their own families. Alone.

Then I said quietly, “My independence.”

I am wondering if I could be like Holden who was expelled from his school, but instead of going home, he wandered around New York. How could he survive for so long without his parents? He used his wits and his sharp mind to live in a huge city. Dewey Dell said  “I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth.”

I want to be independent. It’s very important for a teenager like me to be independent. I want to have my independence naturally, not pressurized into me. I think independence is quite tricky. It could be forced to a person because of a traumatic event, such as a war or huge conflicts. A young child may get dumped to the road. He must learn quickly to survive the reality and harshness of the world. Frances Hodgson Burnet told us a story about a rich young girl who received news that her father died of jungle fever and she was dumped a pauper. She had a huge conversion from a princess to a maid.

Take a look at that. From this point, I conclude there are three types of independence: intellectual independence like Dewey Dell, financial independence like The Little Princess, and the emotional independence like Holden. All of them are the most important things in the world. I want to have it all. I want to be like them.

Happy birthday to me. It is amazing to realize that  I finally reach 13, the luckiest number.

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