Getting Permission To Get Lost

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My mother has always been overprotective of me. I’m not even allowed to explore my own neighborhood.

When I ask my mom if I can go to my best friend’s house, she insists on driving me herself. I ask if I can take the bus, and the answer is always the same. “Have you lost your mind? It’s dangerous.”

True, as a teenage girl, living in Oakland isn’t always safe, but since I don’t know my way around, I’m even more frightened.

I notice myself being worried about situations unnecessarily — like homeless people robbing me or cars slowing down because I think someone might kidnap me. I don’t want to always put on a stiff face everytime I pass a stranger.

I want to show my mom that I’m ready to take care of myself.

I suggested that she should give me instructions on how to get around using Bart or the bus, so I’ll know how to get to my destination and back. After some serious conversations and many ‘No ways,’ she said yes. Will I get lost? Maybe, but at least I won’t be asking her for a ride to college.

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