The Greatest Life Lesson I’ve Learned So Far

In realizing that I barely blog anymore mostly because of a drought of ideas to blog about that I would be okay with sharing with the entire world, I decided to use a creative imagination prompt I found courtesy of google. Don’t get me wrong, I am a creative person and often lay in bed at night thinking of my next blog topic. However, nine times out of ten I realize that those ideas are just too personal. Or maybe they’re stories about real people who I’m not sure would want to see the truth of what I think about them. Like my last idea. I thought about characterizing a lot of people that I remember specifically from all the jobs I’ve had. Then I realized that while that was a great idea, it’s probably not the best because it would be a bare-all, non-censored version of people who could potentially read this. (Not that I would bash them or talk bad about them in the slightest, but just telling the truth on my perception of them, meant to be entertainment and funny) So, I decided to use the imagination prompt to get myself going.

Today’s prompt was: what is the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far in your life?

I feel as if every day of my life I’m learning something new. I’m at a point in my life where there is so much learning and growing that it’s hard to say that anything is greater learned than another. However, if I had name one that is constant and to me so important in life, I’d have to say the lesson of self sufficiency would be the most important.

My parents (especially my father) have been raising me to be independent my entire life. They have each always, always emphasized the importance of learning to be dependent on no one else for my survival. They have never handed anything to me “free” since I was old enough to be employed. I wanted a car. OK, I had to get a job and then save money to pay for almost half of it. So, I worked at Panera for $6.25 an hour and handed my dad every single one of my paychecks and once I had the pre-determined-by-him amount, I was able to go car shopping. I realize now that we needed that amount for a down payment on the car. And it was there, now I realize, where my true independence began to manifest into reality. All the years of my parents’ teaching were finally becoming something true.

It was not until my third year of college when I had a break through realization on what all of this actually meant. I had been living on my own since I was 17 and had remained working at Panera all these years, now becoming a manager making $8.50 an hour. It was the beginning of the year in 2008. Another evil troll had toyed with my heart and left me once again torn into pieces. (That evil troll just got married last week — I still can’t believe it) I then swore off all men in my life and posted up on my mirror in my bathroom something similar to the following:

As of TODAY, JANUARY 5 2008 at about 3:30am,
my priorities are to be NOTHING but the following, in this order:
1. SCHOOL: dean’s list this semester, 3.0 by the time I graduate
2. WORK: running that store is my job and it is important to me regardless
3. INTERNSHIP: will get me more experience and that much closer to a JOB

The realization that came to me at 3:30 that morning was that my priorities needed to consist of nothing but those three and that ANY other thought that came into my head was not worth my time or energy. Extreme, I know. But, it got me to realize, too that I am the only person I can depend on for my survival. People come in my life and people go out of my life. But as long as I am alive and living, there is only living person I can count on for my survival, and that is myself. My parents have taught me to never, ever depend on a man (or anyone for that matter) for my survival and I believe even without their guidance I may have still figured this out on my own. (Although they have stressed this so much it would have been an even tougher lesson to learn without their pushing) I have seen too, too many people become dependent on others for their very survival (living, breathing, eating) and happiness and it is so sad to me. When I see this, it encourages me that much more to be dependent on myself and most of all to work that much harder to get the success I want and deserve.

I wish that everyone could learn that lesson but unfortunately that’s not possible. I wish that everyone could stand on their own, provide on their own, and be successful on their own. And although I’ll be the first to admit that I am barely standing on my own right now and can barely provide for myself even with a college degree, I feel as if every day I am learning something new. Something, to get me to where I want to be in life. Something, to help me grow in ways I never thought were possible. Something, to help me achieve that success I’ve always wanted.

And maybe, one day, being able to share my life and success with the person I love the most.

But of course, still remaining independent and dependent on no other living thing but myself for happiness and survival.

And for the record, that spring semester 2008, I did make the Dean’s List at UCF. And that would be the only semester I was able to do so.


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