Choices and Consequences

I can’t imagine it is ever easy for anyone to make the decision to go to finish high school, go to college or make the trek through graduate school. I have spent the last 20 years hating myself for making a decision that has snowballed into the worst possible choice I ever made. At 16 I decided to drop out of high school so that I could work full-time. Brilliant, right? But let me give you the whole story.

As a young man with what was perceived to be immeasurable potential and ability, I felt if I could work full-time at the town grocery store, I would no longer be a financial burden on my mother who was struggling to take care of my older brother and me. My thought was I could just sign up for home school and educate myself. I found out too late that things just do not work that way and anything worth learning, having or achieving is done through hard work, patience and a dash of luck. None of those traits were a part of my 16-year-old self.

Over the course of the 20 years that followed, I managed to work close to two dozen jobs. Some I worked for a year or two and some I barely worked a day if at all. Now, before you judge, let me say that I am not lazy. I will work as hard or harder than any other person on the same job but, I was never satisfied. I did not know it then, but I would never be happy working a job. My heart longed for something of more substance and that could not be found in the hourly racket. Again, it took me 20 years and a lot of blood, sweat and tears to figure this out.

For that last 5 years or so, I have been fighting my social anxieties in an effort to convince myself that I have what it takes to finish my high school education (GED) and make the jump to college. Finally, after working alongside some very caring and supportive people I began to realize and see in myself what others had been trying to help me see. I can. I am not a loser or a quitter. I am not an idiot, just a guy that made a bad decision as a kid and was too afraid to make it right.

So, here I am. I received my GED in May of this year, 2016, and beginning this August I will become a college freshman. This is new territory for me and although I am 36 and have seen and experienced a great deal of life, I am still a bit scared. And that is why I decided to come to WordPress and tell this story, however boring it may end up being. I will tell my tales of college as a “non-traditional student” and hopefully people find it entertaining, insightful or maybe even helpful and informative. Whatever anyone takes away from here, I just hope they enjoy reading it.

– GD