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Dear Ms. Tessie,
This is embarrassing. How do I learn to take care of myself? I’m going to leave for college in the fall, and I’ve realized that I’m basically unable to do anything for myself.
I can microwave stuff, but I don’t know how to really cook anything. I’ve never had to wash my own clothes, or really clean. I’m not sure I could even go to a grocery store for myself and get things I need.
It’s not that I can’t learn, I’ve just never had to do anything for myself, and I don’t really know where to start learning. I want to be at least a little independent for myself before I have to be for survival.
I would first suggest you approach your parents or guardians for some help. They know the foods you like to eat, so they could help lead you through the shopping and cooking parts. They could be a good resource for laundry and cleaning, as well. I can’t imagine them refusing to help you learn these things, but I suppose anything is possible, especially considering you haven’t learned already.
If that’s the case, or if they continue to put you off, I must recommend you use the internet for its amazing resources to teach you anything you could want to know! There are plenty of videos and blogs that have step-by-step tutorials on how to do everything under the sun! There are videos explaining how to fix common household issues, how to cook, and how to sew a button back on. I’ve even seen a video of a gentleman teaching boys how to shave!
Don’t worry yourself too much. Many household chores and self-care tasks are much simpler than you think. Take each skill one step at a time and you’ll be self-sufficient in no time!
My grandmother passed away last year. She lived a wonderful and long life. She had six children and 17 grandchildren. While I was growing up, we lived only a mile across the farm from my grandparents, so I would always ride my bike over. Then, every time I came back to the farm I would spend as much time with my grandmother as I did with my parents. We were very close, to say the least.
As it turns out, she decided to leave her house to me. She divided up a lot of her belongings to her children and the other grandkids, but she wrote a letter with her will that talked about how I had spent so much time with her and helped her to make the house what it is, so she felt I had a special connection and wanted me to have it. I am truly and completely grateful for this.
I loved my grandmother so much, and I love our house. Some of my cousins and one of my aunts are pretty bitter about it, though. It’s not like I asked for the house; I’m just the one who spent the most time there with my grandmother.
I don’t really feel guilty about it, I guess, but I feel bad that some of the family feels bad about it. What can I do to fix the hurt feelings?
What a wonderful blessing to inherit a generational home! And what a wonderful blessing you must have been to your grandmother that she chose to leave you that home! I’m so glad to hear you express love for the house, as well. Old houses need a special kind of love, and I think you might have that.
As for the hurt feelings, I believe your grandmother tried to dispel those with her letter. If her reasoning isn’t enough to explain away those hurt feelings, I’m not sure what your family might expect you to do. You can try to give them your own thoughts on your time with your grandmother and express your sincere love and gratefulness for the house, but they may not accept that as enough either.
Your family may just be afraid they’ll never be welcomed into the house again, or that you’ll knock it down to build a new modern home. They may be misdirecting their grief into hurt feelings toward you.
You can try to make them feel better, but sometimes the only thing that will heal those feelings is time. I believe the most important thing is that you honor the memories of your grandparents and honor the history of the home, and they’ll eventually come around.