I was raised as if I were an only child. The "spoiled child" stereotype was and wasn't true in my case. My parents taught me to work for everything I wanted. If I didn't do the work, I didn't get it. I wanted a Barbie? Okay, I needed to get good grades. I got my first job when I was very young (about 12-13), tutoring a little boy in math and English. I was 15 years-old when I got my first "real" job doing work-study during a summer at my former high school (the only year I was in public HS).
The spoiled part came when I was in college. My parents didn't want me working while I was in college. It was understandable; I was not used to it. Despite my anxiety, I worked in retail out of high school. I graduated a year and a half ahead of time (that itself was a lot of work; I completed part of my junior year and entire senior year in one single semester) so I had time before I started college. I was not used to working and going to school at the same time and my parents didn't want me to relapse. I ended up relapsing anyone (that's a whole 'nother story) and it took me a long time to finish college because of it. Still, I didn't do more than the odd freelance writing job during college. Scholarships brought in extra spending money but I taught myself to be frugal (which I am to this day). Still, I became a little selfish in college and it's something I've been working to get rid of since graduation.
This past weekend, one of my closest friends came to visit. It's been the first big thing for me since I became ill last summer. I had been so sick that I sort of fell back into my selfishness. Taking care of myself. Only looking out for myself (and my mom). If I didn't want to do something, I didn't do it. "Me, me, me, me, me." What a stereotypical Millennial, eh? I feel bad about this but then I remember that did need to focus on getting myself and my health back on track. Though I am still recovering (and I still have a bit of weight to gain to get back to where I was pre-illness; doctor's orders), I am at a much better place. For the first time since my illness began, I had to really put myself and my needs aside and focus on someone else. Sure, I had done just that (with my mom) before but never to the extent I've had to this weekend.
Before my friend came, I had been taking care of my mom. Though I felt faint at time, I still fought through it and cooked for us. Anything that she couldn't do, I did. Though I was weak and achy, I had to prepare for my friend's arrival. Though I was super anxious, I ran errands and drove mom to and from work. (side note: if you're very anxious, I don't recommend you actually drive; don't try this at home.) When my friend arrived, I was still very anxious yet I still suppressed it as much as I could and made sure she had the best time she could while visiting. Why? Because I didn't matter.
I'm not saying that I don't think I matter as a human being. It was just that my wants didn't matter. I hope it doesn't make me sound egotistical, but I think I bring something unique to this world. God's given me gifts (which I am still trying to figure out how to use) and one of them seems to be the ability to push aside whatever I am going through and focus on someone else who needs care and/or attention for whatever reasons. While, sure, being anxious, lightheaded and I was feeling like my stomach was going to send me to the ER, I knew that I was going to be fine. I've learned to distinguish when I should be really worried and when I just have to sit and relax (and do whatever is necessary) while whatever I'm feeling passes. Having my friend over was the first real big test and I'm happy to say that I think I did well.
I feel like God is preparing me for whatever the next step in my life is; whether it be career related or something else like maybe a wife and mother. Actually, the thoughts "okay, if I can do this (which is just a fraction of what moms can do -- they're superwomen), then my being able to do this is helping me realize that I can be a mama someday." That's right, I don't matter... and that's okay. It was a pretty fantastic feeling despite everything else that I was feeling.
So that's my whole thing. It was a little longer than I anticipated but I just really wanted to get it all out. And I'm sure that having The Avengers playing in the background gave me the extra push. ;)
Anyway, it's my day off so I'm going to try to enjoy it and not let the angry people ruin it. :)
I hope y'all had a great weekend and have a great week. :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D