Aging out – Yoshie’s caseifcayouth
When I heard the word “aging-out”, I immediately thought of “freedom”.
There were no paved roads for young people who are aging out. They would have to create their own roads to be independent adults.
It is true that your own decisions and actions determine the course of your transition to adulthood.
When I aged out of the system, I decided to have a job instead of going to school. I remember thinking that “ I was finally free from a life full of rules and discipline. It really was an infinitely free life after leaving the institutional care that I was in.
It was a refreshing experience to have freedom in everything, including going out to eat and play. It wasn’t easy to make a living by myself. However, it was fulfilling and satisfying to lead my own life.
In my independent days, I came to realize one thing….There actually is a strength in being able to seek help and support from others.
Until then, I was determined not to show my own weakness by relying on other’s help. I felt that I was able to live on my own. However, I was only maintaining my existence by having a sense of self-reliance.
After I aged out of the system, I came to realize that I was not able to live without other’s help. Many people supported me. My personal growth came from crying and laughing with other people. I became a happier person being relied upon by others as well.
Through this realization, I am now standing firm with my dreams. Through IFCA’s activities, I want to let other foster youth and alumni know that they can avoid isolation and that they can lead happy and fulfilling lives by their own life choices.
This post is also available in: Japanese