The Train Ride to Adulthood


It was late in the evening, dark outside as I stood on the empty train platform almost at the verge of tears. At that moment, in a city inhabiting 8 million people, I felt completely and utterly alone.

My eyes could focus on nothing other than the unwelcoming, darkness of the tunnel as I awaited for the train to arrive. I felt like a pathetic loser. I had willingly chosen to spend this day like this. It was Monday, May 2nd my 18th birthday.

I wasn’t sure what had driven me to that moment. Maybe the utter conviction to not have a disaster of a birthday as my 16th, where I depended on others for my happiness. Or maybe it was the attempt to readjust to the new me, independent and too mature than necessary.

The day had started normal, in fact. In my vocabulary it was utterly fantastic. Months earlier I had made the decision to spend my 18th birthday alone. Living in NYC there wasn’t a lack of things to do but it was rather the fear of whether I would be able to make myself happy by being alone with my insecure self. I had realized that other than anything that entailed work, I had never done anything fun alone outside in the city.

Rather than being afraid, I guess the norm was always being with people. Also because I was extremely sociable I would always find myself with people. I would go the movies with friends, shopping with my mother or sister, or eat dinner with others but I had never done any of these things alone outside of my home, my comfort zone.

So, I placed a firm foot down despite what others said and shook my head for another birthday of me hosting for others and not myself. I was ready to pamper and show some love to myself without anyone’s help.

So, I placed all the money I had earned on my own from my internship to my credit card and splurged on myself, going to the spa and a spree at the mall.

I always felt guilty about everything but I wanted nothing more than to not feel guilty about giving into the desires of just a simple human being. (That simple human being me.) For one day, I didn’t want to fight against what I wanted. And I succeeded.

Yet at the moment, late at night, while getting ready to return home from my long tiring day, on that train platform I wondered what had gone wrong? Why did I feel so alone and utterly pathetic all of a sudden?

That moment was my shining moment. The crack in my armor. The break in my facade.

I had done something terrifyingly new and I was able to accept that it was okay to feel like crap for just one second.

That moment no longer mattered, once I entered the warmth of my home an hour later. Nor did it matter as I was engulfed in my mother’s welcoming arms the minute I passed through the door. It no longer mattered as I heard the familiar chatter from my father in the kitchen as he helped my mother with dinner.

I had realized that I didn’t regret the way I had spent my day as I walked into the threshold of adulthood. It wasn’t flashy and glamorous as the image others create that day to be.

It was a defining moment. Exactly the way I had wanted it to be.

A day full of independence, turmoil of emotions, strength, and literally just me. And nothing makes me happier.

P.S And maybe for my 21st birthday I’ll go crazy partying, as people keep “expecting” of me. πŸ˜‰




  1. Happy Birthday! I’ve done the same thing-forcing myself to be in my own company and not feel guilty for enjoying a small luxury. It can be so hard! But I’m so glad you did it and enjoyed it and learned something from it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautifully written. And Happy Birthday! You shouldn’t feel guilty for anything on your birthday. It’s a day to celebrate you and you being alive and present. πŸ™‚ All the best to you. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an wonderful adventurer you are…so brave and willing to take the road less travelled…your determination will continue to take you far…may you continue to discover all your unique and wonderful ways of being…you are awesome…thanks for letting us enjoy this part of your story πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy belated BIRTHDAY, darling!

    i also see that you have favoured a comment,

    i have always found that rather interesting, i, myself hardly read other people’s comments..

    hugs & kisses chris

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent post! Well done!-JW 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Birthday Fai πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚πŸŽ. Nothing is wrong in doing for you. It is always that voice that say: what are they going to think. May yourself happy. Do things for yourself. Love on you. Glad you have experience what we all have experience our self proclamation or discovery of self. Live, Love, Laugh…..Eat, Sleep and Pray πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  7. But what about the important stuff? How was the spa and what did you buy the mall? πŸ˜€
    Yeah – I’m joking. Sounds like you had a great birthday and that your inner confidence and independence has benefitted from this day – keep up the good work, Fai.
    Best wishes – Robert. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy belated birthday! Just know, that there are so many new things ahead of you still. Your life is just beginning. I hope it will be a happy and fulfilling life. All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy belated birthday girl. I can actually feel you. I used to be like that some years back after which I decided to get out of my comfort zone and stop running from my shadow. It’s a great write up.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, I’m comment #101 or so. Happy Birthday, Fei. It’s really a beautiful name and your writing is poignant, that’s the word that occurs for me. Thanks for this piece. I’m just starting a blog, and looking to share insights and feedback about my blogging because I don’t know if anybody gets what I’m writing.

    Liked by 2 people

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