Throughout the years, my phone was always my crutch. In awkward situations I found myself looking for things to do on it. It becomes a way of not having to communicate. If I am bored or unsure of what to do in a situation, my phone comes out. Even if I am not even doing anything at all, I will go look at Instagram or Twitter in order to avoid circumstances that I don’t feel like dealing with. Dinners with my family that used to be a friendly, family affair, centered on an actual conversation, now were meals that look a little more like everyone staring at their gadgets.
Then it’s over. The conversation, the atmosphere, the food, the entire experience were just things I did in between checking my phone. Awkward silence? I pull out my phone and pretend I have an email or a text to check. At a party where I don’t really know many people? Not to worry, I now have my electronic toy to hide in the corner with. It’s no wonder many of us suffer from anxiety if our phone is lost for even a few minutes. My phone has become a crutch. But, even more significantly my phone became my source of pride. After I had my first phone for a while, I got tired of it.
The spoiled brat came out, realizing she needed the next best thing. I am one for technology, so when the new iPhone came out, I had to have it. My dad refused to buy it for me so if I wanted it in my possession; I was going to have to pay for it. This was the first time I had to provide money for something. My parents always got me what I wanted; I never had to pay for anything myself. When the time came that I desired an upgrade from the ragged and slow flip phone, I had to use Christmas and Birthday money that I saved up.
The next time I found myself in need of a phone, this time because I left it in my short pocket and it went through the dryer, I had myself a job. My mom was a close friend with the owner of a restaurant two minutes from us. He had been looking for a busser, but my parents did not want me to get involved with a job. I needed to be “focusing on my grades and schoolwork. ” It wasn’t the time for me to have yet another distraction other than my phone to keep me from excelling from my schoolwork. Eventually, they decided that having a job might end up being a good thing for me.
It has been almost a year since I started working at Bocelli Restaurant on the Gwynedd Valley train station. The people working there have become my second family. I love that I can say to people that I truly enjoy working at Bocelli. It gives me a sense of confidence that I have my own job and make my own money. Without my job, I would constantly be relying on my parents to take care of me and buy everything for me. I recently turned 18 and the coming of age milestone is an important one, but can also be a difficult transition as I find myself hesitant to leave childhood behind.
Broken hearts, disappointment, finding my own identity, and the challenges of increased responsibility all for the first time are all scary fragments of growing up. For me, coming of age seems exciting as I separate from my parents and create my own life. This is the first time that my phone, being my crutch to get me out of awkward situations and giving me a sense of accomplishment, has allowed me to see that it is also a sign that hard work and dedication pay off.