I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 3

Today’s inspiration is brought to you by single word posts. The goal here is to take one word and turn it into a post. The email provided a list of words to choose from and it definitely got me thinking.

I’m going to take it back to senior year of high school. The year was pretty decent. Made a lot of good friends but they were a grade or two lower than me. I spent most of my time in the Zoology classroom taking care of the myriad of reptiles and amphibians. Now my teacher is asking me if I’m going to college. Well, for me it’s not like I had much choice. My mother made it very clear what would happen if I didn’t go to college. At the time, I was excited. I flunked the ACTs but I did pass the SATs. I didn’t want to go to the local college because that’s where the whole graduating class was going and I needed new faces. I was too chicken shit to move to a different state or even to go an hour away so I ended up being about 45 minute drive from home. Far enough that I knew my mom wouldn’t come visit me every second but close enough to visit. I worked two jobs and went to school full time, changed my major once in there and graduated.

Now I’m living the dream! I have a fancy piece of paper that tells the world I’m intelligent! I can do everything I dreamed of doing!

Wrong. You know why it was so wrong? Because everything they tell you is just not true. You see you get these job coaches that tell you about your resume and how it should look and how effective your education will be when applying into the unknown adult world of jobs. I was originally a Biology major. That pretty much narrows my job choices down to zookeeper, plant and animal behavior, animal nutrition, naturalist. So I’m like hell yeah! I’ll get to be a zookeeper! This is great! School is expensive but you know what it doesn’t matter because when I graduate I’ll be set forever! Yeah, no. You can’t imagine how hard it is to become a zookeeper. Literally the best way to get into a zoo is to know someone who knows someone higher up who can whisper into their superior’s ear about how awesome you are and to give you chance. Or, the alternative, work for free for 5 years and get a passing chance at having your application looked at. You’re telling me I struggled for 4 years of my life, spent massive amounts of money (95k if you were curious), volunteered for 2 years and I still can’t get my pinky toe in the door. What do I have to show for it now? Lots of debt. Thank you education. You are a real winner.

You know what they need in colleges now? They need that person who will be brutally honest. That coach you go to and say, “hell yeah, when I graduate I’ll be swimming with sea turtles and dolphins and caring for elephants!” And then that coach would look you in the face and just bust out laughing; gut wrenching, tears streaming, spit shooting out from their face, laughing. And then set you straight. They’ll say, “Hey! that’s great except that won’t happen. You’ll probably work fast food or retail the first few years out of college, and then you’ll find a job that you can be passionate enough about that’ll keep you afloat in this world!” Then follow up with, “Here’s what you really need to do…”

Now I’m not saying this is what happens to everyone or that you all should feel this way or that. I don’t necessarily regret going to college because I did make quite a few connections that I still keep in contact with today or have helped me better my living situation. If I had to go back, I would definitely pick a community college instead of a private college and I would pick a more logical major. In a perfect world, we could all fake it til we make it. I heard this saying from my realtor. I asked her how she was so successful at her job. She said she jumped in and learned as much as possible and came up with her own strategies along the way until she became very good at what she does. That is living the dream. You apply for a job and are considered based off your willingness to learn and then you get a fantastic teacher who teaches you everything they know. That, in my opinion, is the best way to get a real world education.

What’s your opinion about education?

I Don’t Doubt It…

I got a call late last night from a dear friend who told me she’s likely getting a divorce. As I sat up in bed to focus on the call and her situation, I realized how I felt when I was in her shoes. As a young person who has also been divorced, I know the thoughts of doubt, hurt and uncertainty that she was having. The longer I spoke with her (and then her sister) I also began to understand why I never doubted my own divorce.

I got married right after turning 20 to someone who I had spent the prior 5 years dating. We were married for 3 years before I pulled the plug. My friend is in a similar boat – she married at 18 and is now facing the reality of a pending divorce at 25. I could hear how worried and scared she was just thinking of starting over on her own. …and I know that I was once there, too.

However, looking back, I can see that it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve grown more from my divorce than anything else I’ve experienced. Only through that experience did I learn not to doubt my integrity, character, and hard work. I began to see my value and worth outside of my appearance and the things I owned. I learned what it meant to be a real friend and how truly special it is to find those real friends.

…and now to one of my very best friends, I am able to stand alone and tell her that I cannot and will not Doubt  her decisions. I will be beside her to hold her hand and to laugh with her through the good times and the bad. Real friends care about truth and happiness.

The truth is: I don’t doubt that it will hurt and I don’t doubt that she will be stronger, wiser, and better because of this.