Sometimes, I think I’d like to know what it’s like to be “normal.” I’m weird. I’m not even a cool kind of weird. Just weird. My brain doesn’t process or work the way it’s supposed to, I don’t think. I ask too many questions. I test boundaries and rules. I get into trouble. Then, I think about all those quotes from crazy people that say things like, “Just be yourself; to thine own self be true” and so on and so forth. One of my favorites was from Practical Magic (because I get all my best life advice from movies, books, quotations from people far more crazy than I am), that said, “Don’t strive for normal, child. It rather denotes a lack of courage.”

And then I think, “Yeah, I have courage.” And then, that courage gets me into more trouble. Why do I take life advice from people that haven’t lived my life? If they were watching me they’d beat me over the head and say, “No! My god, why do you keep doing these things? Just do what they tell you! You aren’t equipped to deal with the consequences of your actions. You aren’t that strong.”

Fake it til you make it. There’s some good life advice. I’ll try and fake being normal. There, now that’s some sound advice.

Isn’t it?

In Debt is No Way to Start Your Life

My son is a senior in high school next year. Like all high school seniors, he’s worried about college, what he wants to be when he grows up; he concerned about choosing a career. Just like me and everyone since, he fully believes he must go to college to have a good life.

He doesn’t. I bought into that lie ad so many others have. What kind of a society tells their best and brightest that the best place for them is in college wracking up $30,000, 50,000, or even $100,000.00 worth of debt before they even begin their lives?

If my son wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, college would make sense. He doesn’t. My son is smart, talented and wants to work a trade. I don’t think he should go into debt for that. I think he should start working someplace he wants to and get trained there. If they want him to take classes, they can put him through them.

The worst thing this country has done to our youth is to tell them they must go to college after high school and put themselves thousands in debt to start their lives.

Then, they meet and marry someone else that’s in debt and we have 2 young people with about $80,000 worth of debt and jobs working 60 hours a week in hopes of having a decent life.

They can’t afford a house or car. They can’t afford to get out of debt. They have endless anxiety about how they’re going to get themselves out of it and live a happy, meaningful life. That’s wrong. There’s nothing wrong with getting a job and working your way up. A college degree and 40 grand in debt guarantees you absolutely nothing but debt.

I asked my son, “if you saved up the money to go to college so you wouldn’t go into debt, you’d have about $40,000.00.” He said, “That would take me years to save!”

I said, “yes, but you did it. You worked for it and you had the money to go to college. Would you go to college? Or use it as a down payment on a house and car?”

“Does payment on a house and car.”

Then, why do you want to borrow $40,000 from someone else to go to college when you could work and save for the money for a house and car? You’d need to pay back $80,000.00. And it would take you that many years longer.

I spent 16 years with student loan debt. I couldn’t buy anything or do anything. I’m not giving that to my son.

I had a dream I spoke my mind

It was a strange dream. I’ve been struggling some at work. It’s a new position and I’m trying to do my best, but I’m falling short. I work with many young people and they are very confident. I often wish I could have that same confidence. But, they stand up for themselves. They know they’re amazing and they tell their supervisor.

Me? I’m not like that. In my dream, I met a couple people I knew from the past that were now working where I did. One was a graphic design genius that doubted her abilities when I’d known her. I told her she was amazing and brilliant and she remembered that. She saw me at the new job and hugged me and told me that I belonged there. It may be tough now, but there’s a reason for me being there.

Another person I met long ago in theatre/acting was there. She was her incredibly talented, humorous self and told me and my supervisor that we needed to learn from each other.

My supervisor pointed to one of my young, very confident co-workers and asked, “he knows he does a great job! He doesn’t need me to tell him. You should be more like him.”

And, I said, “he likely had parents that encouraged him and told him how wonderful he was even when he wasn’t. When he drew a picture of a flower, he was told he was talented, brilliant. I didn’t have that.

I was told that my talent wasn’t a career choice. I was told I wasn’t smart enough. I was told I had no ambition. I was told I was selfish. I was told I’d never amount to anything. I got good grades. I got the lead in the play. I was first chair in band and won awards in speech in theatre. I was told that I should become a model or marry a rich man.

But, I’m still here and working very hard to do a good job just to hear someone someday say, “you’re awesome.”

That could be you, but you’ve chosen to continue challenging me instead. It’s ok. But, you must open your mind so you can learn from me. We don’t all know we’re amazing. Nobody ever told us that . We have to prove it.

You can believe the one that tells you how wonderful her is and struts about like he’s entitled to praise, but you can also watch the person that’s worked hard her entire life and be one of the only people to tell her she’s good enough.

Now, it’s all on you.