Life Owes You Nothing

via Daily Prompt: Expect

Expect: to look forward to; regard as likely to happen.

At one point in our lives, we learn to stop expecting life to give us things.  For me, this probably happened in elementary school, in second grade.  I had missed the school bus, on the day of a field trip.  I expected my stepmother to bring me to school.  Because I missed the bus, and there was a field trip.  She didn’t.  I had already closed and locked the door behind me, so I was locked outside.  I waited about an hour outside the house, ringing the doorbell intermittently.  She either knew I was outside, or wanted to teach me a lesson.  She told me it was my fault, my problem.  I missed an out of state field trip to the War World II museum, and it was technically my fault for missing the bus.  I expected her to, like a normal parent, to bring me to the school, five minutes away.  That morning, I learned a very hard lesson: never expect life to give you anything, or make anything easy.  The sooner you learn that, the better off you are for it.

So since then, anything that I wanted, I learned that I had to get it myself.  I set a very early goal of going to college.  I knew it was going to be hard, and that I would be on my own.  I always made sure I had the best grades possible, situation permitted. Elementary school was easy for me.  I didn’t have any friends, but school itself was easy.  I knew what was expected of me and made sure to do extra.  Middle school, life was a different story.  I could no longer just do my homework and expect good grades.  I had to start working to get them.  I had to work towards getting into organizations that I wanted to be in.  Middle school helped me to learn how to set reasonable goals and work to achieve them.

Now high school, on the other hand, was not what it’s cracked up to be at all.  I could easily say that those were some of the worst years of my life.  I went through a lot of difficulties in school and life.  Schoolwork wasn’t always hard, but it did always take work.  I was striving to get into extracurricular clubs, such as National Honor Society, the Science Olympiad team, and pretty much every other club too.  Somehow, I managed to always get in, even when compared to all the other students in the school (back then I always kinda felt inferior.  Now I know I was not, and was top 10% of my class).  I had to work hard to prove I was just as good as everyone else.  The other students in my school did not have the same struggles I did.  The ones I was comparing myself to, all had lots of money, lots of friends, and did not have a major chronic illness to battle or an abusive home to deal with.  But I knew I could do everything they could, in my own way.  I pushed and pushed to make it known that I was always ready to milk everything out of life that I could.  I expected nothing from life, and often, didn’t get anything anyways.

But learning early has helped me in my life.  I am very determined and persistent.  If I want something, I am ready to do whatever it takes to get it.  I did get into colleges that I wanted, with scholarships.  Even got a full ride to one with admittance into the Honor’s College.  I didn’t expect that to happen, it wasn’t a give.  I had to make my own way there.

So that’s what I did, and what I try to continue to do.  Not everyone has the ability to  preserve  and power through everything like I have.  That’s okay.  But just know, don’t expect life to give you anything other than what you put into it.

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