Wednesday, July 11, 2012

True life: there's no safety net


I often study people. I like to see and understand the hows and whys of their operating systems. Hear their stories and ascertain their perspectives.

But if there is one thread that runs through every individual I admire it's the absence of an umbilical cord. You know, the piece of safety and nourishment that ensures your survival. A piece of attachment to the security of the nest.

These people who trail-blaze, conquer, who've mentored and advised me...they don't/didn't have one. Whether the cord was cut prematurely by unforeseen circumstances, an ill equipped parent, or they simply disconnected themselves. Nearly all of these people had determined to sink or swim by themselves.

The reason I find this interesting is that I've often longed for a safety net myself. Especially when my husband and I were first starting out. We knew it was just us. There would be no returning home or calling for cash influxes if we failed to budget.

No weekend babysitters. No one else to cover the 1st and lasts month's rent. If we couldn't cut it, we'd be completely out of luck.

Now we sometimes reminisce about the terrible apartments, or times we were left with $10 after paying the bills and getting baby food. I don't know how we made it, or even when it ended.

I guess there was a gradual 'getting better'. A loosening of the belt. But the irony is that although we are okay (and so are my idols) I still strive to ensure that we will be in a position to be that for our children.

To be their safety net.

I remember the scary and uncertain feeling that launching into real-world responsibilities is and I want to lessen the blow for my boys. But is that wise? Is that fear an essential coming of age rite?

I honestly don't know. I don't know what it feels like to have the net, but I have seen the damage it can do to the less ambitious and mature.

What say ye world? To net or not to net? Better yet, how to net? That is my question.