I grew up white. In a good family. My parents always provided us with everything we needed. (Not everything we wanted, but everything we needed). I lived all over the world. I entered this earth in Germany and currently reside in Texas. In between I’ve settled in Nebraska, Ohio, Japan, Connecticut, Germany again, Tennessee, and all over Texas. I personally feel like I’ve had it easy growing up. I had two parents are who still married and crazy in love. I have a little brother and sister who look up to me more than anybody else. I have the absolute bestfriend in the world who has turned into a sister and one of the biggest blessings in my life over the years. I have a great job that is fulfilling. I am financially stable. I am successful (well I’m doing pretty good for myself and for that I am proud). And most importantly, I am happy.
But it wasn’t always like that. I wasn’t always happy. I used to be mean and angry for really no reason at all, I mean look at my life. I honestly had no reason to be. But still, I was. And then I felt guilty about it. Because I had friends and family who had it way worse than I did, so how could I be so ungrateful? Everything in my life was good, I had no reason to complain. But I did.
After moving back from Japan after finishing my sixth grade year I moved to a fairly small town in Connecticut. I had prettt much grown up on a military base, in a military school, surrounded by military personell. Moving to an environment that was the complete opposite of what I was used to was a huge culture shock for me. I became extremely self conscious about almost everything.
I developed this stigma about myself and started to worry others saw me this was too. Whether or not they did, I don’t really know. But I was anxious that majority of the kids at my new school saw me as a rich privileged white girl who had a picture perfect family and a picture perfect life. I did not want others to view me that way.
Since then, it has always been very important to me that I provide for myself. And yes, I know I developed this mindset before I was even in highschool so no way I had a job. But I knew when I grew up I would never reply on a man, or anybody for that matter, to take care of me in any way, shape, or form.
I got my first job at 16 years old and started a savings account that same year. At that time I was attached to my parents bank account and really had no access or control over my money. My dad handled it all for me, and luckily for me my dad is very financially smart. Our agreement was that he would split my paycheck down the middle each time I got paid; half in my savings and have in my checking. I didn’t find out until later that my dad was putting much more than half of check into my savings. I can never thank my dad enough for doing that for me and setting my on the right path.
I decided my senior year of highschool I was not going to college and so I joined the military 2.5 months after graduation. I make my own money, I live on my own, I support myself. I’m doing everything I set out to do.
I love buying my own things, I love paying my own bills. It’s a pride thing for me I think, to look at my closet or my car or anything that I own honestly and know I bought it for myself. With my own hard earned money.
It is so hard for me to accept big gifts from people, espcially my parents. My mom and I have to pull teeth over Christmas gifts!
Still to this day, I’ve had co-workers and even family make comments about my “picture perfect life” and it really just hurts me in a way that nothing else does. It’s one of the few things I truly get offended by. My life is pretty darn good and I am pretty damn happy but I am, as is everybody else, far from perfect. I don’t ever want to come off as ungrateful because gratitude is one of the most important things to me. But I have worked hard for where I’m at today. And no, I couldn’t have done it on my own. My family, espcially my parents, have played a HUGE role in the women I am today. But I am building my own life and I am proud of what it is becoming.