It all started with our family friends asking my parents when both of them would have their next kid. Now, they envy how I can get the attention of my parents all to myself. That was me growing up—I got to do whatever I please. My parents fed me with the illusion that being the only child is a luxury, yet, they also forgot that it is a heavy responsibility.
For some people like me who never had the companionship of blood-related siblings, the struggle of being an only child is an understatement. It is a concealed and silent battle I have been conquering for years now, and as I become a young adult, the tough battle gets going.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love the serenity of being in solitude. Being lonely and being alone are two different things. No one would understand that situation more than being the sole child in the family. You get to enjoy the things others wouldn’t understand, and there is nothing lonely about having time for yourself. For the record, yes, I occasionally think about what my life would be like if I had siblings. But as I got older, I sympathized with my parents’ decision of choosing to only have one daughter.
Unlike the stereotypes people dub those who are the only child, I am not the type of kid that has to snap a finger to get things I want. Growing up in a household of parents with minimum-wage jobs, raising a child is a physically and emotionally draining task. Not to mention that financial effort has to be made to make ends meet everyday. They weren’t selfish by refusing to give me someone I can play with when they’re not around. They were just making sure that as the years came by, they could provide their best despite our shortcomings.
As I start to explore the world, life unfolds the heavy burden of adulthood—a phase where I have to get by alone. Despite the sense of independence, maturity, and financial stability hitting me at a young age, it is a far cry from reality. I knew right then that I had to step up. I had to learn things myself and figure out how I’d make it through the day.
Life is cruel in many aspects, and as I come to this day, I’ve realized that my experiences are worthwhile. It taught me that overcoming these sophisticated tasks would help me bring out the version of myself that I would be proud of someday.
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