My parents divorced when I was a teenager. They both remarried since, and each had a kid with their new spouse. What I find them telling me now, as they each experience raising a child all over again, is that they didn’t realize how much of an independent child I was.

They tell me this in different ways, on different occasions. Both are amazed by how little work they had to do with me growing up. I didn’t need a parent next to me to help me sleep at night. I only needed the glow of a television screen, and I could fall asleep easily on my own. I never needed to be told to do my homework, I just did it. I never begged for play-dates with other children. I could entertain myself alone, in my room. Again, with the help of a glowing television screen. This is how I preferred to handle things, in solitude.

It might seem like it, but trust me when I say that this is not meant to sound boastful. I don’t know how exactly I became this sort of person. The sort who prefers to get things done on her own, than through the aid of other people. I’m sure there are a myriad of conclusions I or a licensed professional could draw based on my upbringing, my gender, my genetics, or more likely, a combination of the three. Whatever the reason, it made me the type who never liked asking for favors. I dreaded appearing needy, or helpless. I never wanted to talk seriously about myself.

Growing up, rarely did I ask for help. Now, in adulthood, I’m learning that it’s okay to ask for help.