Tiny Buddha is one of my favorite inspirational blogs, there are tons of really great posts that are applicable to all walks of life and can give the encouraging words that we’ve been waiting to hear and didn’t even know it.
Today I read Andria Yiasmin Karanicola’s post entitled Standing on Your Own Two Feet and Facing Uncertainty and after reading it I felt a small weight lifted from my shoulders I thought would never budge!
Growing up in foster care was all about uncertainty. You never knew the kinds of rules that someone might have in their home or what they’d be angry about or whether or not the other kids would like you and I was constantly scared of making everyone so angry that I’d be sent back to the Department of Social Services like a damaged package.
Growing up to adulthood and living on my own didn’t exactly squash all those fears and uncertainties all by themselves either, and even without the worry that I’d somehow upset my foster parents and be moved on or the other children in the house and be left friendless, I was constantly reminded of how incapable I was at making my own decisions by every single set of foster parents I went to live with even after I’d moved out.
When I turned 18 and was loading up the car I’d saved up for since I was 12 and purchased just after my 17th birthday my foster dad at that last house followed me in and out of the house, not helping, but yelling at me. “What if your car breaks down?” he demanded, “what are you going to do if you get sick and can’t get to the hospital?!” He chased me back and forth from my room to my car shouting about how difficult life would be without them (my foster parents) in my life. I calmly stated that I had friends that there were cabs and that I’d find a way to get things done no matter what, but he wasn’t hearing me.
Maybe he was sad to see me go and a little hurt that I was just packing up and leaving with no intention of ever coming back and maybe they were both genuinely worried about me, but all I heard were the words “you can’t do this on your own” and the feisty teenager inside me was screaming “LIKE HELL I CAN’T!” with every box stuffed into my tiny ’95 Nissan Sentra.
Regardless of how sure I was that I could make it on my own, I soon discovered that all my desire and knowhow didn’t prove to amount to much when faced with living on my own from 18 on. I was still very much a child and whenever I failed I cried for days, overwhelmed with the feeling that I’d ruined my life and berating myself for ever leaving my foster home when they’d offered me my bed to rent as I went to college.
But deep down I knew why I hadn’t stayed at my foster parents’ house. It was because Icouldn’tlive like that. I couldn’t live with people who didn’t believe in me and who were so scared to let me make my own mistakes that there was serious dread and pressure enough to explode every time I screwed up. I couldn’t spend every day worried they’d find out about what had happened and throw it in my face as yet another reason why I was incapable and too stupid to survive on my own.
Now I want to leave the security of my 9 to 5 and quit my job so I can get my crocheting business off the ground. Crocheting is my passion; I desperately want to teach and sign up for craft shows where I can sell all my hard work to those eager to have a little something homemade in their home. I won’t lie and say that I’m not scared of making a mistake, and though I feel that my plan to start out with a few craft shows a year with a few items on Etsy before making the break from my office job is both safe and smart, I still worry about ruining my life.
Sometimes I can still hear my foster parents talking about some of the other girls who’d grown up and moved out only to become failures. I still think about the stories of girls in mental institutions, in abusive marriages with 6 kids, addicted to everything and scrounging to make a living and it still scares me just as much as it did then, and not having anyone whom I can call and cry to or ask advice from leaves me feeling lost at sea a lot more often than I’d like. So I get in the tub and soak for a few hours, go hang with friends and cry to them, sit on the porch and drink beer while I stare into the sky just letting my mind wander. I can’t just worry all the time or all my hair is going to fall out!
I say take some time to do something chill when you need to, and even when you don’t need to, just to get into the habit of taking some time to relax and be brainless for a while. Sometimes I read magazines like In-style or Cosmo because there’s no worry in the pages of those kinds of magazines, everything is makeup, shoes, sunglasses and how to apply sunless tanning lotion and it is blissfully brainless in there sometimes.
Read Yiasmin’s post on Tiny Buddha here and visit Tiny Buddha whenever you can because you never know when they’ll have a post that speaks directly to your heart!