When I leave my house, I will check to make sure my straightener is unplugged, turn around to leave, and then check it another 10 times before actually leaving. I will leave the parking garage and walk back because even after checking 5 times to make sure my headlights are off, I am still not so sure. No matter how many times I check and see the oven button is off and my alarm is set to AM instead of PM, I will always have a sliver of doubt in the back of my mind that will constantly nag me. I live my day to day life with an overwhelming and unhealthy amount of anxiety over what ifs. I am entirely unable to drive anywhere without feeling alarmed at least once. I am terrified of driving in bad weather, getting a flat tire, or quite literally anything going wrong with my car at all. This is due to the fact that I dread coming into contact with things I have no control over, and is precisely why insurance is so important to me.
If I hear an unusual noise or it feels a little bumpier than normal while I’m driving, I automatically assume the worst and go into panic mode. I begin by panicking about where I can pull over or if there is anywhere to pull over, and if I do who do I call, do I turn on my lights, do I try to fix something, will I be late to work, will my car stop working, will I get in a wreck, and on and on and on these thoughts spin out of control until I am near tears. There is nothing more frightening to me than something not going as planned. However, insurance has become a relief from anxiety and the only source of stability in times of chaos. The idea that I am covered and I will be okay if something does go wrong has helped me find my composure. When faced with such situations, insurance becomes the only grip I have on the uncontrollable. Insurance is not something to be scared of, for it can bring a feeling of security in the midst of calamity.
My dad taught me the greatest lesson about responsibility at the age of 16. As soon as I turned 16, he told me that he believed the best way for me to transition into adulthood would be through a gradual process of acquiring independence. He let me know that it is not automatic nor is it my right to have a car, and if I wanted to drive, then I would have to earn it. He would buy me a relatively cheap first car, and from that day on, I would be responsible for the insurance. If the insurance was not paid, he would take my keys, I would ride the bus, and the car would sit in the driveway. A job was no longer an option, no longer just a way to earn extra money on the side, no longer something that could be pushed to the future; it was mandatory. This was a foreign concept to me because most of my friends didn’t have jobs and didn’t have to pay for their insurance. I didn’t understand why it would be different for me, and at first I resented him for it. However, over the next two years in high school, my struggle and eventual balance of school and work prepared me more for college than anything else could have. I understood what it meant to work for something and I began to feel sorry for those who had everything handed to them. I had a whole new appreciation for everything my parents do for me, and I found that this is the least I could do for them.
Around this same time, I was taught the extremely important lesson by my AP Macroeconomics teacher that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Nothing in this world is free, and when someone believes this to be false, he or she is simply unaware of the funder. I believe my father was trying his absolute hardest to prevent the development of a sense of entitlement in his children, and I hope to do the same for my children. There is nothing more hideous in a person than a sense of entitlement, and although responsibility is the last word a 16 year old wants to hear, I still can’t thank him enough. Overall, insurance has played a huge role developing my strongest virtues and relieving me from my toughest anxieties.
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