I am so happy to be an adult. I never want to go back to being a child. My childhood was filled with lots of rough patches so I would not want to repeat that experience. As an adult I have the power to change my life. I make the decisions about where I live, who I associate with, how much education I get and where I work. Guess what, if you are over 18 and reading this now YOU HAVE A CHOICE TOO! That’s the great thing about being a grown-up. You are not helpless. I strongly believe, where there is a will there is a way. There is always a way.
It doesn’t matter how much money your parents have or how much money you have. It doesn’t matter where you live. All that matters is that you set your mind to a specific goal and stick to it! Nothing worthwhile is going to happen over night. You need to be patient and put in the hard work. You will struggle. You will feel like giving up. You will come so close to quitting. But, you will find the strength to push on and get to where you want to be.
I believe everyone should educate themselves after high school. You don’t have a high school diploma? That’s okay. You can still be successful. You can get a GED. Even if you don’t get your GED you can still teach yourself certain skills and get a decent, comfortable office job. You will then use your typing skills (you will learn from free online typing lessons), customer service experience (from your retail and fast food jobs), and organizational talents to become the best receptionist/office manager/customer service rep that company ever hired. You know how I know? I’ve seen it happen right before my eyes to someone close to me. Sure, working an office job isn’t saving lives and isn’t the most thrilling way to spend your time. However, you are helping a company succeed, helping the economy and you have money in your pocket to put gas in the car, food on the table and send your kid to school with new shoes. That sounds like a good life.
You get to define what success means. Success does not always mean becoming filthy rich and having a couple master’s degrees on your wall. It means whatever you wish it to mean! To not struggle with debt, own a car free and clear and be a homeowner one day. That’s a fabulous goal. Do what you need to do to positively get there.
Everyone should learn how to do something productive and be an expert at it and excel at it. Learn how to fix cars, auto body repair, fix airplanes, give facials, cut hair, build houses, install solar panels, fix plumbing…there is a way to educate yourself. Once you have the knowledge you can go out there and find a good stable job. You can work your way up to management. One day you may even run your own auto body repair shop.
Education does not always mean a traditional four-year university. It means going to a two-year college. Going through a certificate program. Taking typing classes and Microsoft office program classes at the rec center. It means showing up at a Veterinarian’s office and saying, “My only experience is being a dog catcher but I want to continue working with animals.” And that doctor taking a chance on you and teaching you everything you ever needed to know about being Vet Tech on the job. Look at that, fully trained and experienced working with something you love and you didn’t have to pay a dime for college. You paid with your time, hard work and perseverance. (My mom did that.)
You can’t just think about the present. Okay so today, getting drunk or messing with drugs, partying a handful of days each week sounds like a blast. But where is that getting you? Are you spending the little bit of money you have wisely? What decisions are you making today that will benefit your future? Where is the party when you are 60 years old, not as healthy as you once were and have a couple kids maybe, and you have no retirement fund and no way to help your kids go to college or whatever it is they want to pursue. How are you helping the cycle?
I am not perfect. I don’t know everything. We all make mistakes and bad decisions. I have absolutely made some very bad decisions in my life. But I learned from it and made damn sure not to repeat it again. I know there are unexpected things that happen in life that change everything. So it’s a change of plans. Everyone has a story. We are all faced with adversity and have our own issues. Don’t let it stop you! Be better for yourself. Take care of you today so the you of the future is living well. Healthy, happy, and not burdened by the past.