Sunday, December 21, 2014
Over half through! Today's challenge is one that has been sort of an odd struggle. Knowing I'm right but having to face the scrutiny and judgement of those who disagree. It's not always easy to love yourself or feel proud of your decisions when you are faced with hate and disapproval. And even more so when you have nothing to prove that is was the right decision - not to others, not to yourself.
My life since graduation has gone quickly downhill. I went to college for 2 weeks and dropped out. I know it goes against every social protocol but it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Please show me one 17 year old that knows what they want to do with the rest of their life. Please, I beg you. Because all I ever see are people who spend so much time bouncing around, and racking up debts. Changing degrees every year. Taking classes they end up not needing. Winding up 1, 5, 10, 20 years down the road in a job they hate, wishing they could go back to school but being too caught in a rut or too busy etc etc. We all know these stories.
I never wanted to go to college. I never believed it was right for me. But it was protocol. It didn't take long into my stay to realize how wrong it was for me to be there. After 2 weeks of misery, I had a break down and dropped out. Such a relief. Which didn't take me long to realize was a wonderful decision. I was going for a Studio Art degree. I would have spent 4 years just to have a fancy piece of paper that would have done me absolutely no good in making sales. They're called starving artists for a reason. Art is freaking difficult to sell, even for the very talented. I never would have made any money. Not to mention, having schooling can be a block for artists in developing unique styles, so I may have had an even harder time making sales (if possible). I'm very very poor off right now, so it would be easy to look at me and blame the fact that I dropped out of college, but honestly....I would be no better off. The only difference is I would have a piece of paper to make everyone else happy. The one main issue with dropping out is that before I had lots of scholarships, which were cancelled when I dropped out. Since it was a stupid private Christian college, I walked in paying nothing, walked out with well over $2000 in debt.
Ever since, I have had a lot of setbacks. Major depression morphed into bipolar disorder, which came with. Two of the jobs I managed to have were ruined because I made irrational decisions, not realizing that there was a deeper issue. I've had a lot of health issues, and since my insurance shut off when I turned 18, all hospital visits racked in a huge debt. Then my final job didn't go well despite my hard efforts.
I have fought tooth and nail to move forward, and so far, it has been a complete failure.
I live in a super small apartment with my father. Our truck has been broke down for 16 months. We have a small EBT and can hardly afford food. We are insanely behind on rent and bills. We are lucky to have what is clearly the BEST landlord ever for not evicting us. We have had water, power, internet shut off on us semi frequently.
I have like 10,000 debt if not more, and haven't been able to pay a single bit off. It's been 4 years.
I had no clue what I wanted to do at 17. I thought I did, but I wasn't wise enough to know it would have ended horribly. I went from wanting to be an artist, to wanting to be a nail tech, to a cosmetologist (having a salon), to finally now I want to be a wedding planner. Of course I want to do art always, and I still have dreams of being a best-selling author. Unfortunately, for now, I can't do any of it. I have no way to have a job, which means I can't pay debts, which means I can't pay for tech school.
I keep fighting forward. And I know one day, despite all of these set backs, I will come out on top. I look around and it seems like everyone around me has jobs, graduated college, gotten married, has babies...and it makes me feel like a failure because I'm not where I'm supposed to be. Then I have to stop and be like....I'm 22 years old! I'm supposed to be partying not parenting!
Dropping out of college was a great decision. It would have looked good, but it wouldn't have been worth it. Obviously the debts from hospital and therapy bills were unavoidable. My jobs didn't go well but having an illness makes it complicated, and I've come to accept that it is what it is and there's nothing I can do about it but move forward. Which is what I'm always trying to do.
From the outside, my decisions and situations look awful. But in the long run, I know it was all for the best. I have had time to learn, to grow, to discover better-fitted jobs I never even knew were an option, so that even though I'm doing terrible right now, in the long-run I will have the most success.
So as far as I see it, I've done something right. Even if I have nothing to show for it, and even if it seems like I'm just a failure....I know I'm on the wrong path...even if it is a long, bumpy, curvy path.