Monday, May 26, 2014

Self-advocacy: The secret to being happier, healthier and saner

Maya Angelou once said, "I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me." That has been one of the toughest lessons of my 20s. When you’re a kid, especially a privileged kid or one with especially awesome parents, people are always looking out for you. Your parents and teachers and community members speak up for you because you haven’t learned how. The older I got, the harder it was to take on that mantle of responsibility. 
I jumped into serious relationships at a young age, hoping I’d find a guy who could take care of me. For years, all I wanted from a relationship was to feel taken care of. I fantasized about living in domestic bliss with someone who could take care of things like our finances or plumbing or comparison shopping or killing bugs—all the things I wasn’t good at but knew were vitally important. I wanted someone to emotionally support me through difficulties like my up and down mental health or new challenges like leaving college and entering the workforce. In other words, I was being emotionally and logistically lazy.

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