When I was young I had big dreams for my life. Somewhat unrealistic dreams. I had ideas about what the future would be like. What it meant to be an adult and how I planned to live my life. I literally had no clue. Honestly, what eighteen year old high school graduate does? And yet we live in a society that forces young people to make decisions for a life they don’t yet understand.
I studied hard in high school to keep my grades up. I picked impossible colleges that only accept 4.0 students or athletes (which I was neither). But I had a plan, and it involved a top education from a top college. But I didn’t get into any of those schools. I went to a state school. I started with a political science major. After a year I realized that I hated politics. I switched to an English major, because I was good at it. I spent the next few years of my life just getting by, with no idea where I would end up. My plan had been ruined. My dreams dissolved. My advisor wasn’t helpful. No one warned me about the dangers of student loans. No one told me I needed to do some internships if I wanted to get into a good career. I felt cheated. All my life I was told that college is what comes after high school. Its the logical next step. It will help you jumpstart your future. It will get you the education you need to work in the career you choose. Well for me, none of that was true. I graduated with a BA in English, over $85K in student loan debt, no job, no money, and no prospects. And absolutely no plan. And here I am, 5 years later, still trying to figure it all out.
I used to think I wanted to be a career woman. That all changed when I had my son. All I wanted to do was stay home with him and watch him grow. Wake up to his smiles every day. Play with him and teach him. But I couldn’t do that. I had to make an income. I had to pay the bills. I had to work. I have worked for 3 different companies and help 5 different positions. I like my current job. My days pass enjoyable enough and I am able to leave early to pick my son up from school. But its not something I want to do for the rest of my life.
When I met my husband, he shared with me his goals and plans. He’d had time between high school and college to sort out how he really wanted to live his life. He spent 4 years in the Navy, overseas and on aircraft carriers. He had some life experience. Enough to help him figure out what it was he wanted out of this life. I like his plans and goals. I like where he is heading. I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m excited about our future together. I’m also excited that its given me the chance to start dreaming again. I am hopeful about my future. My families future. And I’ve made a promise to myself. I’m going to make sure my children live a little before they have to decide what they want to do with their lives. Experience what this world is before trying to figure out their places in it. There is plenty of time for a career. First, enjoy your life.