Growing up, my parents would take it upon themselves to take care of everything for me. My dad would go off to work while my mom would stay home and do everything from laundry to cooking dinner to sewing clothes.

They wanted me to instead focus my attention on school so that I’d get good grades and eventually graduate from a good college. Their aim was ultimately for me to have a stable life and income in the future and to do so, they would take it upon themselves to do all the tasks.

I tried to help, but whenever I did, they’d shoo me away and tell me that my time is better spent studying or doing homework. They told me that these tasks weren’t necessary as long as I focused on my education and got good grades. School is more important to focus on in life, they said.

So I did. I studied my ass off in high school and graduated college early. I thought life would be easy after college, but I was wrong.

It turns out that because all I had to do was worry about doing well in school, and not take any responsibilities, I didn’t know how to do anything.

I didn’t know how to use the washing machine.
I didn’t know how to use a rice cooker.
I didn’t know how to unclog the toilet.
I didn’t know what to do when I got into a car accident.

The things that most people already knew how to do, I didn’t. And oftentimes, I had felt ashamed, embarrassed of myself for not even knowing the basics. I had done well in college, but outside of it, I had no grasp on ‘life’ or its responsibilities.

Looking back, I wish I could’ve been more involved in the daily chores that my parents had done for me. It might’ve taken some of my attention away from schoolwork, but the skills I would’ve learned from doing these chores would’ve benefitted me for life. At the least, I would’ve been prepared to take care of myself.

You can’t always fight other people’s battles for them despite how much you care about them. Sometimes it’s better not to because oftentimes the best growth is learned through one’s own struggles.