Here I am standing, on a hot, sunny, yet beautiful Texas day in Marble Falls, TX with a 6 foot and some odd inches beautiful white woman mounted on my back. We look happy right? Maybe even enamored of each other. Perhaps, but this picture is actually the beginning of where my “education of life” started.
Let me start off by explaining what “education of life” means to me. In my opinion, as a society we have an orthodox way of thinking and doing things referring to education, jobs, family, friends, etc. However, I feel that doing things the standard way is no longer acceptable and here are a FEW reasons why I feel this way:
- Post-grad life, my first job was earning $175/wk at a traditional overnight summer camp
- I didn’t realize communication/networking (something that use to kill my appetite & made me anxious) is my strongest asset until I started working with kids
- The people I’ve met over the last two years are people I probably wouldn’t have been interested in making an acquaintance with if it weren’t for the places I met them
Now here is where I will state a disclaimer and say I BELIEVE EVERYONE SHOULD GO TO SCHOOL (college, technical training, university etc.), and that is all I will say about that. At least for now. However, the tricky part is life AFTER college. In my last semester, everyone was asking “What are you doing after graduation?”, “What’s next for you?”. It was like a broken record that I couldn’t seem to turn off. To be honest, I didn’t mind people asking but I did mind people asking only to justify their plans in comparison to mine. My plan was simple, graduate December 2013, relax, take a break from school, study for the June LSAT, prepare for law school, find a fun summer job, then go back to school in fall 2014. Well let’s just say I managed to complete 50% of that plan and I’m glad.
I graduated, relaxed, “studied”, and found that fun summer job; and at that fun summer job I met Kayla (the 6 foot something beautiful white woman mounted on my back in the picture above). Kayla and I were assigned as co- counselors together and counseled nine high school girls for three weeks. Meeting Kayla was like meeting that long-distance family member for the first time who is a 100% nice yet unique in a way that you just can’t put your finger on so you just end up tolerating them because their your family. Yes, I admit for three weeks I tolerated Kayla. In fact, I eventually started to dislike her because I chose to tolerate her instead of getting to know her. Typically, when I tolerate someone I am nice. Like, really nice. Now if I like you, like actually like you, there is a 99.9% chance that I will be mean to you when we interact. Strange I know, but that is unfortunately (or fortunately) how my brain works. Fortunately enough for Kayla, I was nice and she had no idea.
For the rest of the summer, Kayla and I did not work together (due to our different assignments) so our interaction with each other minimized. Hence, I no longer had to tolerate her as much and because I no longer tolerated her I began to see her differently. As I began to see her differently, my initial attitude toward her started to change and that’s when I realized Kayla wasn’t my first “unique long-distant family member” I’ve come across. Kayla just happened to be the family member that made me get it: I am in control of what I do and how I do it.
A simple concept indeed but a challenging concept to practice. Back in my early post-grad life, I developed a mentality that I should be doing things the way everyone else around me was doing (get a FT job, go back to school, date a stud etc.). Yet, I was doing things exactly the way I was suppose to, I just had no idea! Let me put it this way, if I didn’t apply to that fun summer job, I wouldn’t have met Kayla. If I didn’t meet Kayla, I wouldn’t have learned a valuable concept. If I didn’t learn that concept from Kayla, well I would have eventually learned it somewhere down the road. Most importantly, Kayla would not be my “unique long-distant family member” I care for today.
After college, my education did not stop it only continued. Only this time, my education was taught by strangers, more “unique long-distant family members”, children, and myself. The unorthodox part is where I chose to start learning and continued to learn for quite sometime. You may or may not be contemplating where a place like that is located. However, if you are, for now I’ll just say my classes were taught daily on the uniquely beautiful Lake LBJ.
More to come…