We come here from an incredible range of experience. Our life-stories are as varied as can possibly be, and yet we've found a camaraderie here. It's important to remind myself that what seems obvious to me only got that way because of my own experiences, interpretations and feelings. Someone younger or older, living with family or on their own, with kids, without them, going to school or not, will be navigating their own world in their own way, learning lessons through their own life experiences. We find ways to relate to each other, to find connection and closeness, but our lives are unique.
What I know of life can't always be applied to another person's life. I can't imagine a parent abandoning their child, and yet I've read heartbreaking stories here of divorce battles and absentee parents who have not cared for their children the way they should. The only life I know is with an older sister who was married at 19 and a younger brother who is a drug addict. Some people have no siblings. Some people have never met their family. All of these things shape us and so must be valued. We can't assume that because we've learned something, everyone else should also have learned it, and that because it applies to our life, it must surely apply universally.
I try to remind myself that I'm only walking on my own road and learning my own lessons. I can't learn lessons for other people and I shouldn't judge or resent them for learning about life in their own time and way, or for coming to their own conclusions. That is their prerogative in their uniquely individual life. We all write here from our own experiences and take what it is that we need. Me at fifteen would have come here and needed validation against things that seem clear to me now. That's what I needed. This is me at 24. Who knows who I'll be at 30. Hopefully, someone who continues to appreciate the journey we're on without judging the people who are just starting or the ones who have neared the finish line. I just want to respect that we're all walking together.