My Parents’ Divorce Taught Me To Become Independent

I consider myself extremely lucky to have had such a pampered childhood. I grew up in a beautiful home with my parents, my brother, and my sister. I was spoiled as a child with not only luxuries but also a loving, close family.

I was handed everything on a silver platter as a kid. Money was never an issue, vacations were mandatory to us at least twice a year, and I got everything I ever needed or wanted. I was so used to living like this that I wasn’t as appreciative as I should’ve been. My parents’ divorce was a wake-up call.

My parents split during my high school years. I had a difficult time trying to cope with it and was hoping to run away from it all. I got accepted and went to my dream school, costing $50,000 a year. I had to borrow my brother’s car to commute an hour to work every other day to keep up with my life at school. I ended up hating it and begging my parents to transfer to somewhere closer to home. Many problems arose from this. My parents’ gave my car at home to my newly-licensed sister and they didn’t want me moving back to home because I couldn’t “live there forever.” After a lot of convincing, I moved back and was accepted to a school that was 10 minutes from my house. I, however, had to make some agreements with them.

I needed a car as soon as possible. I picked up a second job and worked 40 hours a week while being a full-time student. I like to proudly admit that I have bought myself, on my own, a new car. My father told me that I also had to pay for all of my own bills now that I’m home–which only made things more stressful. I was living paycheck to paycheck. I eventually quit those two jobs and landed a full-time job at Whole Foods.

Because of this, I went from being a sheltered girl to becoming an independent woman. I pay my own bills, I bought myself a car, and I found a reasonably affordable education while struggling to find an apartment to live in. The drastic change from living an extremely catered lifestyle to having to work for everything on my own was hard at first.

From time to time, I look upon my situation and question it. My brother and sister were handed cars and have all their bills paid for by my parents–while I do not. I convinced myself it was middle-child syndrome, but then I have realized how I was living was not fair compared to my siblings.

I’ve only brought this situation up a few times to my father, in fear of what he would say back. “I have all the confidence in the world in you,” he said, “you’re going to be extremely successful. It will all be worth it in the end.” He knows I’m struggling. He knows I’m tired from the long days of school and work and the sleepless nights that follow. He makes a point every day to tell me how proud he is of me for doing this all own my own–which makes this all worth it.

Things began to fall into place and it’s all because of my positive attitude. I was promoted at my job, money wasn’t running tight anymore, and I was finally happy. I still like to say I’m spoiled. I still am surrounded by my loving family and friends and I get incredible support from them. I’m aware that I have it very lucky to many others and that’s what keep me going. It’s such a bittersweet feeling to say that you pay for everything on your own from the money you make for working hard.

My father always told me that I was going to thank him one day, but I am already thanking him now. TC mark

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