I learned to be a good companion from growing up in a family that made a real effort to spend quality time together. Girls and boys tend to have different interests. In my family we still always did things together and provided one another with company. My mom and I would go with my dad to cheer my brother on when he played baseball as a kid…
But they have become the best of companions while respecting and incorporating each other's differences. What I learned from my family's positive example has translated into my relationships with friends and boyfriends. I try to keep an open mind so that I can enjoy what they enjoy and really be part of their life.
During my early teenage years I went through a phase of thinking that I needed to have as many friends as possible to seem "popular." This led me to choose quantity over quality and although I became "friends" with more people, the depth of each friendship became less and less. I could tell what was happening because I barely spent time with the close friends I had before. I went back to the way I was before, because being a really good companion felt better than being a companion to lots of people. This is a lesson that I hope to remember throughout my life so that all of my relationships with people are deep and meaningful.
One of my first major relationships was not a very honest one. I cheated on him a lot, and lied about it. But I think I may have been hurting myself more than I was hurting him. The complications of that relationship have created problems in more recent relationships. Because I cheated on someone and he didn't know about it for such a long time, I started to think about the possibility and likelihood of it happening to me. My own actions have led me to paranoia and an inability to trust trustworthy people. Every time a boyfriend tells me about his day, I find myself questioning the reality of his story.
I have noticed this in other Hispanic girls and think it may be true of me also that my parents are very overprotective of me when it comes to boys. This has led me to lie to my parents on more than one occasion about where I am and who I'm with. The lies I used to tell my parents led to a lot of hurt, both on their side and mine.
What I have taken from my past is a stronger personal adherence to honesty. I have experienced first-hand the bad things that come from dishonesty and now know how important it is to be honest. I still have trouble trusting people who have done nothing bad to earn my distrust, so there is certainly room to grow. I think that as I continue being honest and surrounding myself in positive, honest relationships, I will regain my trust in other people.
Because my parents were so overprotective of me, I was always trying to prove to them and myself that I was independent. This need for independence led me to do responsible things. I started taking care of younger children as a babysitter when I was only thirteen, and got a "real job" when I was old enough. I was always on time to work and never missed a day. This responsibility was also reflected in school, as I always did my homework and made good grades. I reached a rebellious point in my life (perhaps because now my parents expected me to be responsible and I always wanted to disprove them) and I started to disregard my schoolwork and job commitments. I quickly realized that my irresponsibility had no positive benefits and only made me feel bad about myself, so my rebellious phase was short-lived.
I also think that my job as a babysitter helped me know what it was like to be responsible for other people. As a youngest child, I never had any younger siblings to take care of and be responsible ...
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