When I was little I used to always say I wanted to own my own business when I grew up. Never once did I find working under someone amusing. I’m an only child who normally gives the orders and doesn’t take them very well. I think I’ve been arguing since I could talk. My parents used to say I would make a great lawyer some day. Maybe it was because I always wanted to know the reasoning behind what I was learning at school or maybe I just always knew I would never take the normal “graduate high school go straight to college go to corporate america” rout. I’ve just always had my own idea about things and nobody is going to change them. Not to say I don’t have an open mind, I do. My opinion just gets made up pretty easily.
Now that I’m a 20 year old adult, feeling out the first year of living on my own, my opinions and ideals have been changing faster than a revolving door! Until last year I used to always believe life was all about working hard for what you have and being happy about it while doing so. I also used to believe that everyone has the choice to change things they aren’t happy with and if you don’t change what you don’t like, you were just lazy. I used to think my mom should have worked a different job that made her more money so we didn’t have to live with my grandma. I used to think that everything you were meant to do in life would happen to you no matter what, even if you didn’t try.
The more you know and experience, you get this wonderful little gift. The gift is perspective. A lot of people don’t get to see different perspectives. Having only one or a few perspectives makes you selfish and stiff. My old boss and her family were this way. Her family had royalties in the electric toothbrush, her father had been an orthodontist, and she became an orthodontist. Nothing about becoming an orthodontist is easy but the back ground she had was more than average. She was a person who thought times were rough when she couldn’t afford to go to her time share in Florida for the weekend. She truly believed that everyone had the same opportunities as her and if they didn’t have a lot of money they were simply stupid. Patients and employees of hers who didn’t live a life like she did, she just rolled her eyes and looked down on them. Part of me knows this is something she did because it was all she knew. Her bubble was only so big and it was an innocent evil more than an intentional one.
I’ve never gone without but I was always the poorest one out of my group of friends. They all had two parents, two incomes, and more than you could ever want. For the longest time I thought it was unfair and that I should also have all of the things they had. Now I’m so grateful for my experiences growing up. I learned so many things from it. I learned that my mom didn’t work a high paying job because the hours she worked made it so she could spend more time with me. I learned that the things you have don’t make you any better or any worse than anyone. I learned that if you work hard you can get what you want. My mom married a man my senior year. He wasn’t rich by any means but he had plenty. Until my mom had him, I had never really known what it was like to be able to ask for something and just get it. I never knew what it was like having a pool in my back yard. A change in perspective.
Although John was well off, he works a tiring and stressful job. Hours upon hours. My mom has told me he works all day and sometimes has to work all night at home. I was doing the same thing when I worked with the orthodontist. I worked long stressful hours and then stressed about the next day all night long. My perspective changed on life completely. I thought I was doing exactly what I was supposed to. Get a nice paying job, move out of your parents basement, move up in your nice paying job. The joy of that nice paying job was short lived. I was killing myself every day. I realized nine months later it wasn’t worth it. I don’t care about the money I don’t care about the title. I never wanted to go back. So I quit.
Quitting that job was one of the best decisions I had ever made. I changed my thought process. I changed everything. For two years prior I had my mind set on being a dental assistant. Now I want more than that. I’m over the nine to five business. I want to do something that I will love and that will make me and my family proud. There are a few obstacles that come with this thought process. People will laugh at me. Yes. People will hear my plans and think everything I want and everything I’m doing is stupid and ridiculous. People won’t believe in me. They’re going to talk about how lazy I am for not having a normal job. Where I want to go with my life is going to be hard. It’s going to be time consuming. It’s going to make me want to give up. But I can’t.
You see, everyone can be a big time movie star, a big business owner, a successful news reporter. Everyone has what it takes. What people don’t have is the belief in themselves. You have to want it so bad that you won’t stop until you have it. I look at stories of famous people and successful people and very very very few say, “I caught a lucky break”. Most of them say, nobody thought I would do it, nobody believed in me, people thought I was crazy, it was hard, it took work. You have two choices in life. You can work hard at your nine to five job every day until you retire or you can work hard towards your crazy dreams every day until you make it. You pick.
I’m lucky enough to be as young as I am and had the experiences I did. I could have spent four more years in school after graduating, settled for a career I didn’t mind, and gone through the majority of my life at a job I hated. I know that I got a lucky break in the perspective department. Most people believe this is what life is. I don’t believe so. I believe we get a few good hints about your meaning in life and you either listen to them or you push them away. My life growing up has given me exceptional empathy for others. My choice to drop out of college and get a basic job showed me earlier than most that this is not what life is about. I’m picking a less straight forward rout. I’m starting a life built on hope and dedication. If you don’t at least try to go after your dreams then what are you doing? Seriously, screw what other people think. Some day they’ll look at you and wish they would have done the same things you did. So what is your life about?