Sunday, November 15, 2015

I did it my way

The other day, someone way older than me commented on how they were worried about me, and how I struggled compared to my brothers when I was in high school.


I had fun. I've always been the type of person to work AND play. I wrote my own rules. I did enough to do what I needed to do. I had a social life. I worked 20 hours a week and paid for every damn social thing I wanted to do in high school.

And excuse me if a black kid, adopted into a white family in the suburbs doesn't have questions about her identity? Don't most teens go thru phases anyway figuring out who they are? So doesn't it stand to be reasonable that a girl teenager, in a family of boys, black, in a family of white people, might struggle to find her identity? I have news for you: my older brother, who knew what he wanted to do by age 12, met his wife and was the only person he ever dated starting at 13? That shit's not normal.

I resent your comments.I reject them.

I got a full ride to the University of Illinois. I had ZERO guidance on majors, and had no idea what I wanted to do as an adult. So I bounced from major to major. And not on my parents' dime, I might add.

I had a blast at school, kicked it! But always did just enough to keep my head above water academically. Was it pretty? No. But there I was, getting by.

One semester my advisor told me to get my shit together, pick a major. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I took a bunch of hard classes including calculus and chemistry because "I always liked science." These classes were so hard, partly because I'd never gone past algebra in high school. Midway through the semester, I decided to withdraw for the semester. Little did I know, I would have to pay back my scholarship. Gasppppppp!!!

Who paid it back? ME. I worked 3 damn minimum wage jobs. 6 to 10 am doing maid type crap at an engineering firm. Then 11 to 7pm at a mail presort company. And THEN I worked from 7:30 to closing time at Portillo's, a local Italian beef chain. On the weekends I worked 10 hour days on saturdays at portilloS. I did that. Not my parents. Not anyone else. And I paid my scholarship back, had multiple meetings with advisors, and GOT MY SCHOLARSHIP BACK. I did that.

It was then that i knew that i had to finish school, bc i simply was not cut out for hourly wage kind of work.

So some call that struggling...but I appreciate every single thing that I learned along the way, the people I've met and the experiences I've had.  I'm a success story. I went from meandering around the college campus to straight A's and making the Dean's List. I got a fellowship for graduate school. And never on my parents' dime. And most of my friends are those from high school and college.

I don't look back on any of that with sadness, and so I dont need anyone else doing that either, speaking in a condescending manner because I didn't fit some mold.

Frank Sinatra said it best "I did it my way," and if you can't respect that, and respect that I appreciate all of those things in my life and learned from them, than just be quiet.

I'm just venting. I might even delete this. No need to comment.

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