Raise your hand if you had no idea what a curfew was in high school because you were never allowed to leave your house in the first place??
I was convinced that I was a bad kid when I was growing up. I felt lost and hopeless as I spent most of my nights crying my eyes out into my pillow. I wondered if I was actually as horrible as my stepfather made me sound. I received straight A’s, was polite to everyone I met, and I saved almost every dollar that came into my possession. Somehow I still wasn’t good enough.
Long story short, I grew some balls after my first year of college. I learned that I was funny, intelligent, and strong for a woman who wasn’t even 5’0”. I made friends from all across the country that year who taught me that the opinion of one person does not define who you are.
Getting kicked out of my childhood home was frustrating yet liberating. I felt like nothing could ever pin me down and make me feel small ever again. I had the help of some amazing friends who believed I deserved better. Its hard to believe that I used to get belligerently screamed at for not saying hello when I walked in the door after school or the fact that I was forced to go to sleep at 6 pm because I needed help with my homework when I “should have been paying attention in class” at the age of 7.
I used to dream about running away when I was younger. I prayed that I would magically be what my stepfather wanted, but that never happened. I realized that all I could do was improve who I was in my own eyes.
I am now a junior at Indiana University and I couldn’t be happier. I have rent, car payments, car insurance, gas, health insurance, phone bill, sorority dues, and groceries to pay for. I absolutely love being a waitress and being able to pay bills on my own. I have the most indescribably supportive friends and sisters that push me to be a better person every day. My relationship with my mother has improved tremendously since I distanced myself from that house, and that makes my heart happy.
Remember that just because someone tells you that you aren’t going anywhere in life doesn’t mean that you won’t. You aren’t destined to have one path in life, you are allowed to have several exciting and twisty paths. You decide your future. You choose your happiness.