I am slowly learning to become my own parent, my own caretaker, my own protector. I cannot rely on my family to support me financially forever — and I cannot rely on a future partner to do that, either. I have to make my own money, and I have to make something out of myself in order to do that. I have to buy my own apartment. Live my own life. I cannot wait around, hoping that someone will magically save me from my nightmares. I have to put in the effort to save myself. I have to play the hero in my own story.
I am slowly learning no one else is responsible for my success or for my saftey. No one else is required to ask how I am doing and make everything okay again. They are busy taking care of themselves — and that is not selfish. That is what they should be doing. They should be placing themselves first, and so should I.
I am slowly learning to stop relying on other people to bring me happiness. I am always going to have high expectations and am occasionally going to end up disappointed — but only if I put my faith into other people. I cannot get too excited about getting dinner with friends, because they could cancel at the last second. I cannot get too excited about going to an event together, because they could become busy. I cannot get my hopes up about things that are out of my control. I have to accept shit happens to the best people at the worst times. I also have to learn to live in the moment, because if I spend too much time predicting the future, I will end up disappointed.
I am slowly learning one bad moment does not have to taint my entire day. If I make a mistake on exam or get into an argument with a family member, I don’t have to dwell on the problem until I fall asleep at night. I can focus on other things. I don’t have to keep stressing over the one thing that happened to go wrong when I could spend time appreciating everything else that has been going right.
I am slowly learning to take responsibility for my emotions instead of placing the blame elsewhere. If someone hurts me, I do not have to spend weeks crying over them. I do not have to let their mistake cloud my self-worth. While they are choosing their actions, I am able to choose my reactions. That means I can choose to walk away from them, choose to ignore them, choose to cut them out of my world.
I am slowly learning to rely more on myself, because I am the only person who I have any real power over. Even the people who love me most in the world will not be able to help me out of every bad situation. They might not have the money. They might not have the time. They might not have the energy. That is why I can only rely on myself. I have to grow up, act like an adult, and take care of myself for the first time in my life. This is college, it’s only one step out of a million.