It's a great experience to be out on your own for the first time, paying your own bills. But when you're on your own, there's a whole world of s****y experiences for you to navigate, and all of them involve the winged beast that owns the place you're paying to live in. You have to deal with s****y people every day, but rarely do you have to deal with someone who has your balls so thoroughly in a vice. I don't even have balls, and my balls were still thoroughly viced when my landlord sent someone to fix my frozen pipes. I didn't get to pick the plumber who would do the work, and my landlord chose a guy who had played Super Mario Brothers once instead of getting actual training. So when he fixed the pipe with literal duct tape and it exploded at 3 a.m., I had to deal with it by myself.
I realized at that moment that I had literally never dealt with a real personal crisis before. If something bad happened, I just looked to the person beside me -- my mother, my father, or my husband -- and said, "What do we do?" Or more precisely, I said, "AAAAGGGHHH!" But with no one home to ask but a barfy cat who was very wet and unhappy, I had to pull up my pants and do it myself.
With a Beyonce song in my heart, I got the leak stopped, and after realizing that the apartment was never going to be the same again after being flooded with ankle-deep water, I managed to negotiate with the landlord to let me, my barfy cat, and my few remaining worldly possessions leave the premises without paying early move-out fees. Apparently, the fact that my apartment could double as a wading pool was a feature, and they couldn't believe I wanted to move out.
The lesson here may be the most common one you deal with throughout your life, and the first time you encounter it, you totally deserve a cake. A whole one. To yourself. That lesson is: Depending on other people may be a necessary part of life, but recognizing that some of them are lazy, unhelpful assholes means you'd better be comfortable and confident enough to fix a problem yourself.
I honestly wouldn't trade this or any of my other crappy experiences for anything because. Like Jillian Michaels is always yelling at me when I'm working off all that cake, the hard part is the part that matters the most. Without these s****y experiences, I wouldn't understand myself, my thought processes, or the world around me the way I do now. In fact, I'm going to go make a cake right now in celebration of that realization.
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