I Feel As Though I'm Walking Alone...

November 20, 2007
By Celia Schimelpfenig, Normal, IL

I feel as though I’m walking alone, only I’m not alone. My friends and family (maybe not all of them at once, but we’ll get into that later) are with me every step on my way towards being on my own. Yeah, people can say they’re independent, but no one really is. Everyone is dependent on at least one other person, for me, there’s many. For people my age I’m a pretty independent person, I cook my own food, do my homework and chores without anyone telling me, and I like to handle my own problems. A lot of teens still don’t even do their own laundry. With a busy schedule like mine, and your parents hardly ever around because they’re always at work, you learn to do things for yourself.

You’re sitting at home alone, it is 7:00 PM, and your stomach is starting to grumble. What are most people going to do? Call their parents, ask them to bring home food or ask them when they’re coming home to make dinner. Not me. I simply make myself dinner, whether it’s noodles, PB&J, and hot dogs, or it’s steak, potatoes, and corn. As I started to do things for myself, I’ve learned a lot. You would think that cooking your own food isn’t really a big deal, but then I really think about it, and I realize that there are still a lot of adults that don’t cook their own meals, they have other people do it for them.

Homework and chores, what teenager doesn’t put those off? Me. I prefer to just do everything I need to get done right away. My parents don’t have to bug me 24/7 about getting things done, they come home from work and it just is. A lot of people try and put it off for other people to do. But sometimes people aren’t always going to be there to do things for you, you just have to take action and do it yourself! That was an important lesson I learned a long time ago. Not everyone is accountable, some things are just better to do yourself. Especially when what someone else is doing for you involves school and chores. If you have other people doing your school work, they’re not going to be there for you during your test, so that just leaves you, looking stupid when you could’ve avoided the whole situation but just doing your homework yourself. And eventually, you’re going to move out of your house, if you have other people do your chores and clean up your stuff around the house, I can almost guarantee that your house is going to be a complete pigsty. Being independent as a child and a teen helps a lot when you’re living on your own.

I trust my friends, of course, but I feel like I need to solve my own problems. For everyone there is a time when you have to tell someone about what’s going on, but for the most part, I like to handle it. Growing up and moving out of the house there isn’t always going to be someone with you that you trust fully enough, you have to learn how to develop your own problem-solving. What better way to do it than to solve your own problems? There has been a few times that certain things I’ve needed haven’t ended up being at the same house as I was. Most of the time, my parents don’t want to drive all the way over to the other house, so I have to find a way to get my things. Whether it’s having a friend pick me up, or having my parents drop it off at school, I can’t do it all by myself! Which is another thing I’ve learned, sometimes you have tell other people about your problems. Keeping everything bottled up all the time isn’t good for you.
Every now and then you have one of those days where you feel like your world is going to fall apart; the day my parents separated was definitely one of those days. It was definitely an “I have to talk to someone” kind of day. I was put into a situation I didn’t want to be in, even though I knew it was for the better. But even though my parents are divorced and I never spend more than a week at a time with either of them, it’s what has made me who I am, an independent person. Yeah, obviously my parents were there for me and so were my friends, but no one could've handled the situation for me. Sure they could give me advice, but in the end, I’m still the one making the decision on what I’m going to do to handle my anger and sadness. I started getting used to the idea of them not being together, and now, it seems like nothing. Especially now that I have my step-mom and step-brother, it’s just more people in my life to help me out along the way. Another one of “those days” is the day my brother went to college. We were really close, and he was one of the people that I would share everything with. It’s been really hard not having him at home because I’ve had to handle a lot of my own problems in the only two weeks he’s been gone, things he would’ve helped me with if he was here. Although it’s helped to make me who I am, especially these last few weeks. Sure I like being independent, but a main part of being independent, is being dependent and knowing when to ask for help.

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