Crybaby Self-Portrait: Emelia

Written By: Emelia

My name is Emelia and I am 24 years old. I never went to college, I'm single, and I live with my parents. The last five years have been a big influence on these things and, while I know this isn't a usual opinion, I am proud of all of them.

Emelia in 2011 & Emelia today.

Emelia in 2011 & Emelia today.

My whole life, I have done what was impressioned on me to do while doing my best to feel like I was my own person. I dated the same boy for four years and very shortly after our break up a boy moved from Atlanta to New Orleans to live with me so that we could be together. As a female, if I am not striving towards marriage then what am I striving towards, right?

And, I always knew that it was expected of me to go to college right out of high school. Who cares that I hated school and plus, paying for classes I would never attend would be a waste of money.

I got so caught up in boys and putting all of myself into making relationships work, even when they were abusive and manipulative, that I never decided on a college to attend. I applied and was accepted to over five schools and I never went. Most of the time it was because moving to wherever the school was would affect my relationship. Later, it was because I realized how long those student loans would follow me around. I never believed college was the right choice for me unless it was a school tailored to what I wanted to do. I want to be a journalist or work with fashion, why do I need to know Calc and Chem? However, it didn't take long to figure out those schools cost you your first-born child. And I don't even want kids.

While I chose not to attend college, I did make the leap into full independence and moved twelve hours away from my family. I lived there, worked whatever small jobs would pay the rent, and lived and loved every second of it. I made friends, I dated boys on my terms for the first time in my life, and after two years, I failed.

In December, I made the horrible and heartbreaking decision to move back home. Many, many events led to this and I knew it was right for the position I was in with money and roommates. However, going through this failure was the hardest thing I have ever done.

In the last five years, I had the strength to face two very hard break ups, go through so many jobs that I believed would put me on a career path, and face a horrible failure head on. The amount of heartache I have held onto over these things can still rear its ugly head. Failure and disappointment have always been what I am ultimately afraid of. I now know I will survive.

I am single, not alone. I have so much life experience that did not happen inside a frat house, and I am strong enough to face potential failures. And I know that the next steps I take in these parts of my life will be purposeful and meaningful.

There is nothing to be afraid of.