This I Believe

Ryanne - Aurora, Colorado
Entered on May 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Have you ever been left hanging? Well I have the solution. I believe that you can’t depend on anyone else; you can only depend on yourself.

Judi, a fuddy-duddy name for an old-fashioned person, as well as my parent. In the car or in the house, dependence from one person to another is immeasurably present. A significant shoe to my mother was lost in the depths of my mediocre middle school play, Footloose. Repeatedly, Judi reminded me to check the lost-and-found for that one particular shoe, and each day I spaced it out completely. Each day I’d tell myself in the morning when it was fresh that I’d do it, but I was a mere irresponsible seventh-grader. So don’t depend on me.

Before but also beyond seventh grade my mother also wanted me to do my chores, which is a deed parents expect from a child universally. “Can you put the dishes away for me, my lady?” Yes, I am a duchess in her benevolent eyes. “Yeah, ma!” I consistently felt that she was perfectly capable of doing those dishes herself, so they weren’t the climax of my things-to-do list. “Ryanne! I asked you twenty minutes ago to put the dishes away! Please do it.” A tinge of frustration from her end while I played ‘The Sims’ and did not care for the words coming from her mouth. “OK, mother!” I’d respond; until ten minutes later when she rushes down the stairs and extracts me from the best game that ever existed. I roll my eyes and do what I was told half an hour in the past. Eager to return to my entertainment, I quickly shove the dishes in the dishwasher, with a hint of hostility. To my mother “put the dishes away” actually translates to “clean the entire kitchen.” But in my own head, it translates to “put the dishes away and you’re all set.” Why does she depend on me to do it?

Like my mother, I have mistakenly depended on others. However, people only think about themselves, thus you can’t depend on them for your needs. A long, difficult project was due in Language Arts class, named a “Crime Lab”. We were assigned to a group of three, and unanimously divided the work into equal sections. I was not expecting, in any way, that I would toil through the night finishing the project alone. I could not depend on my group; only I truly earned that high score. I anticipated going through the same ordeal when assigned a new Crime Lab group. Although somehow they contributed beyond my expectations, and depending only on myself was out of the picture.

Nevertheless, people, often unconsciously, only think about themselves, and view things their own way. My mother always said, “If you want it done right, do it yourself” as a sarcastic response to my poor putting-away-the-dishes skills. This statement, I also believe in, but ultimately, you can only depend on yourself to do something correctly according to you. And that is the solution to avoid getting left hanging, and in that solution, I believe.