A Few Lessons I’ve Learned

It’s not like I set out to hurt him. It was the summer before my senior year of high school. I was seventeen, I wanted to have fun! I was looking for a summer of kisses by the pool, late night movies, and ice cream (hell, I’d even take frozen yogurt).

He wasn’t on the same page. He was the type of guy who fell, and fell hard. Maybe I should’ve recognized it, but I didn’t. I told him outright: I didn’t want anything too serious. Apparently he hadn’t heard me very well.

After I broke up with him a week into summer vacation, he cried. A lot. He threw things around the room and began swearing like a sailor, saying he was sure he’d never connect with someone like me again.

It was so hard to stop myself from screaming, “You’re 17, this is not the end of the world!” Upon further consideration, I thought this might be a bit insensitive, so I held back.

Truth is, most girls don’t think like I do. In fact, not a lot of teenagers think like I do. That doesn’t mean I’m wrong–I want to make that clear. I have different priorities, that’s all. I don’t want an epic love story. They’re great for books and movies and shit, but they don’t fit my personality. Which leads me to this list. I want to show people that having these traits isn’t something to be ashamed of. You are not heartless. You’re different. You are not average.

1) I find it difficult, nay, impossible to take things too seriously.

If I’m too serious, I’ll care too much because that’s just who I am. And then when everything goes to pot, I’m left crying in a corner somewhere. The best example of this is when I joined PETA. I kept signing all their petitions, thinking I was making this massive difference. Needless to say, it crushed me when I found out most people dismissed PETA as being full of crazy, chicken-loving, vegan nut-jobs. I think I cried for four hours when I thought of all the abused puppies I was definitely not saving. First lesson: find humor in everything, or you’ll explode.

2) I HATE depending on anybody. For anything.

Example: I work two jobs because I don’t like asking my parents for money. They’re generously paying for a huge chunk of my college tuition (when I get there next year) and they’ve been giving me free room, board, and meals…for 18 years. I figure the least I can do is buy my own clothes, pay for my own movies, cover my phone’s data plan.

The main reason he and I broke up was because he a) didn’t drive…at all b)let his mother and sisters do everything for him, including his laundry and c) made ME drive every single time he wanted to see me, which was ALL the time. He infuriated me. He had zero ambition, and didn’t have his permit because he couldn’t be bothered to get up off his ass and take a fifteen minute test. Not only that, but he was so painfully shy he made no effort with my family. I was the one going to his house every single freaking day and watching him play video games, chatting with his sisters and endearing myself to his family. The one time he came over to my house, he sat awkwardly by the pool and wouldn’t talk to anybody but me.

But I digress.

Lesson Duex: There is nothing wrong with independence.

3) I am driven.

Now, I’m not a valedictorian-future-president-diplomat-extrodinaire type of driven, but I have goals that I will reach. I want to go Pre-Med in college, go to med school, and have an extremely career-orientated life. And, I’m perfectly happy NOT getting married. I have friends and dogs for company, and they won’t make me talk about my feelings the night of an exam.

I’m an A student, secretary of my high school’s chapter of K.E.Y. Club, and a member of the Music Honors Society. I play violin, guitar, and piano. I sing in one of my school’s audition-only choirs. My SAT scores were great, but I’m retaking them in October to improve the math section. I’ve had colleges sending me special applications with offers for merit scholarships all summer.

Lesson the third: Working for what you want pays off.

I’m writing this mainly because I’ve noticed people think there’s something wrong with how I live. For whatever reason, people simply cannot fathom that I, a teenage girl, do not want ‘relationship’. In truth, I’m fine with kissing, hanging out, going to films, whatever. What I don’t like is the idea in high school of all places people expect to find their soul mate and live happily ever after forever and ever and text every second of every freaking day and hang out all the time and never ever ever part ever.

It even sounds annoying when I’m typing it.

I suppose I hate it because of my whole not-depending-on-people-thing, but I don’t want someone who is my whole world. Personally, I find that a bit unhealthy. Just a tad. Romeo and Juliet is one of my favorite plays of all time, but no, I do not want a love like that. I like to think that if my significant other died, I would be sad for a bit but be able to continue living. That sort of thing–being alive–appeals to me, for whatever reason.

I’m sure this works for people. Great for them. But don’t look at me like I’m mad for not wanting it.

OH and one more: Don’t take shit from anybody. It doesn’t make you a bitch. It makes you strong.


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