Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 16 - Going against the grain.

I remember when I was a senior in high school and was investigating which university that I wanted to attend...
...and contemplating what my major would be?
...and wondering "What in the hell was I going to do with my life?"

I didn't really know.  But I picked a school.  And, I picked a major.  I started to wrap my brain around going off to college.

And then, my parents said to me that they thought I should wait a year.
They thought I was too immature. 
They thought I wouldn't focus, or be in college for the right reasons.

I was furious!  My pride was sorely hurt. 

Don't get me wrong, I knew that I wasn't a stellar student (I was a C average student).  And I knew that my motivation was rarely driven by grades and studying (I was more interested in friends and my high school boyfriend).  But, academically, I got by. 
I did what I needed to do...mostly.

With my pride at stake, I was dead set on going to college that fall. 
And, I told my parents so. 
And, they told me that it was my decision to make.

So, I would go to college in the fall.  My decision was made!  And, I thought that was my final answer.

And my mom was writing out the check to the university for the non-refundable housing deposit, she simply asked, "Are you sure you are ready?"
And I wasn't.

To this day, I am not sure what possessed me to change my mind... perhaps it was because my parents had allowed it to be my decision...or, perhaps because I got scared...or, perhaps because, deep down, I knew that I wasn't ready to be serious about studying and college. 

Regardless of the reason, I changed my mind and decided to work for a year before attending college.  And, in 1987, this was something that people didn't do - at least not at my high school.  In my high school, you were either college-bond, or you were not. 

Not going directly to college, after high school, went completely "against the grain". 

And, that was hard to do.

Many of my friends were appalled.  Friends of my parents, wondered if I was making an awful decision, and voiced their concerns.  They didn't understand what I was thinking and were further purplexed that my parents were supportive of my decision.  And, to be honest, in that moment, I wasn't exactly sure what I was thinking either. 

But something told me that I was making the right decision.

And, it turns out, it was the right decision for me!  Because, in that year, I learned an important life lesson that continues to serve me well today!

After working in retail, 40 hours a week, with a store manager who was addicted to cocaine, and assistant manager who was sorely unhappy with her job, her marriage, and her life, and other employees who felt "stuck" in dead-end jobs, I learned that I am responsible for creating the life that I want.

At the end of that year, the district manager plead with me to stay with the company.  He even offered me a promotion.  But I knew that was not what I wanted to be doing. 

So, I politely declined and I headed off to college...
to create the life that I wanted to live!
(a life that is still in the process of being created, and re-created, and re-created...)

When have you gone "against the grain"?
What did you learn from that experience? yesterday's post there is a giveaway...there is still time to enter!  Click HERE!

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