At a certain point in time, there was always one particular thing in my life I wished I could have changed. I used to wish I had both parents there to raise, love, and provide for me. I had friends whose parents bought them cars for their sweet 16 and wore clothes more expensive than I could’ve imagined. I didn’t have those things and it wasn’t until I started college that I was okay with it. Being raised the way I was has been beneficial for my adult life even though it didn’t seem that way growing up.
Honestly, as I’ve lived this life and embraced a change in my perception, I’ve learned that being raised by a single parent was not a downfall, it was an advantage — a beautiful piece of my story. I grew up seeing the real world for what it was or what it could become. I learned earlier than most, life isn’t always fairytales and daisies. It is hard-work, sometimes bad credit, and joy in getting the smallest gifts. And because of this truth, I realized I have more guts and knowledge than most. I am grateful that I was exposed to such truth so often, and so soon!
There are seven things so far I’ve gained from being raised by a single parent:
1. Don’t ever be ashamed of who I am: This is important, that’s why it’s number one. I may not have the wealthiest parent in the world but I am grateful for her guidance and protection because I wouldn’t know what I know today if I wasn’t shown the truth from the very start.
2. Make smart decisions because you get no redos: Nine times out of ten, a single parent would tell you they wish they could go back and change something, but they can’t. I was told this several times, and I took it to heart every single time. If I ever thought about doing something without thinking it through, I heard this in my head.
3. Invest and plan for my future: this one is pretty self-explanatory but very important. It’s essential to sit down and think about what you want to do with your life before time gets away from you. I am thinking like a fifty-year-old at twenty-four-years-old.
4. Always be appreciative and grateful for what I have: Never be the person that takes things and people for granted. I’ve seen the hard work that comes with getting even the simplest things- that’s the advantage I’m talking about.
5. Be independent: Never rely on anyone to do anything for me.
6. Have a back-up plan: You know everything doesn’t always turn out as you planned. So, have a fail safe.
So, to those of you out there like me, embrace your powers and change your perception. We were not punished — we were being prepared. Prepared for how real life can be. One more thing, use your upbringing to remind you that hard work can get you anything. You’ve seen it your whole life might as well make use of the lesson learned, right? It doesn’t matter where you come from all that matters is where you’re going. We’ve been equipped with lessons of life, so guess what? You can’t use a single parent as an excuse anymore.