In 2008, I was in grade 11, finishing my senior year of high school. I was 17 at the time and looking at the future with all this optimism. The world belongs to you. you will do great things and I wanted to believe it. I prayed that it was true. So I sent out a batch of college applications. Go to college and then university,get a fantastic career with great money, buy a house, get married, have some wonderful kids, and then spend the rest of my adulthood basking in the joys of success.
Unfortunately life had a different plan and I struggled through my highschool classes. Subjects that other students found so easy, were tremendously difficult for me. I was 20 years old when I finally walked across the stage to get my highschool diploma. And unlike a certain teacher who said I was lazy. It simply wasn’t true. School was difficult for me and While other students could get through their studies without an issue, It took twice as long for my brain to digest the material.
When I finally finished highschool, I thought great now I can go to college. Except there were more obstacles. Every school that I applied too, refused my application. I had so many rejection letters, I remember I just broke down crying one day. I thought wow I must be the stupidest person. Maybe my teacher is right, maybe I am just destined to fail. The next four years life kept throwing me a bitter hand, I ended up being virtually broke, Almost ending up without a place to live and then jumping into motherhood before I ever had my feet planted. During those four years, I wrote every day and I found that poetry became the healing force in my life. What I gained was a deep insight into life and an appreciation for everything that I had. I grew in wisdom and understanding.
It is 2015 and believe me, life has taught me so much. I have learned more from falling down, making mistakes, and taking wrong paths, than I would have learned in any classroom. What I learned from life was that being a compassionate soul is far more important than how many accolades or degrees you have. Education is important, I am not disputing that, but at the end of the day, you should be able to take the knowledge that you learn and come to your own conclusions about the world. Intelligence and the pursuit of knowledge should never be limited to one path. When I stopped trying to prove myself to others, I learned to be truely happy about where I was on my personal journey. I learned that it was okay, to take my time getting to my destination. I learned to be proud of myself and all of the obstacles that I had overcome.
It is 2015, and I have finally begun to see my way out of the thicket. Dreams that sat on the back burner for so long, are finally having the opportunity to come out into the open. While for some people, going from highschool to college was preferable, I found out that I was much happier taking an unconventional route.
The gifts that I possessed became polished and refined because of the fire I passed through. So maybe I don’t have a doctorate and I’ve never been to an ivy league institution but I have gained wisdom and insight through all that life has taught me and that in itself is a precious and beautiful thing. Life is only over, once you stop breathing and as I am I am still here, There’s still so much more for me to discover.
I would encourage all of us, to be very careful with how we perceive others. equating someone’s value with their level of education, the amount of money they make, the type of job they have or the award they’ve received is completely judgemental. Remember you are just an outside spectator to their life. unless you can physically morph yourself into their body and walk the exact same road, they have walked, you will never know what they’ve gone through. Careers, money, title and power, they should never be used to define someone. It’s the heart, that matters before all else.
In the words of India Arie “I am the soul that lives within”