What lesson am I supposed to be learning?

“I love learning,” is my go-to line that I trot out in job interviews and conversations where I have to impress someone. And it is true. I do really enjoy learning. I like understanding new things, and I love that there is no pressure for me to speak, or work, or do any action – I just literally need to sit there, absorb and perhaps figure it out in my head. One of the ways I try to ‘comfort’ myself when I’m doing something hard is that at least I’m learning. If I’m having work problems, I’m learning how to deal with them so the next time it won’t play out like that and I know how to handle myself. If I have to do a grown-up duty then at least I know how to do it easily myself the next time. I try to think that I’m learning endurance, independence, will power or confidence so that I’m getting something from a shitty situation.

A lesson I’m getting really sick of repeating now is relying on no one but myself.

From a young age, I’ve always known to expect to do it myself and to never expect help. My parents did not speak English or understand the Kiwi culture at all, and I find them to be major annoyances since they constantly get the wrong end of the stick and are extremely conservative. I see them as people that hold me back, and so I’ve gone through the majority of stuff by myself. I’m also the oldest child and have not many close older friends or family in my life. I navigated school, friends and teachers by myself. I applied to uni, got a scholarship and did all the paperwork myself. I applied for an exchange, went to the states and finished uni in NZ by myself with no contacts in any industry for a job. I’ve navigated working life, money, travelling and all the paperwork from taxes to doctors appointments to running around airports trying to find the right gate by myself – I’ve never been a position where I have had help, or done the above things with anyone else before.

Now that I am 26, my attitude is that I expect to do it myself, to never expect help unless I pay for it, and be extremely grateful for help that is free. I have found friends and family that I can rely on, and can think about all the different solutions I have to a problem that I can action myself or find the most cost effective way for someone else to do it.

I feel like I don’t need the emotional support that a lot of people who have always had someone with them – I am totally fine to sit in a restaurant all by myself and do it a lot during lunch times. I am extremely fine with my own company and don’t get bored easily (unless there is no internet).

So. I know how to do things by myself. I’m fine with doing things by myself.

So why am I still stuck on this lesson plan?

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