Friday, September 9, 2011

A Greatest-Fear Defeated

For a long time, one of my greatest fears was that I wouldn't amount to much of anything. I remember sitting in high school during my senior year, listening to classmates exchange what they were majoring in and what universities and colleges they were going to. Most already knew what they wanted to do with their lives, and few were going to community colleges. I was still discovering myself (and honestly still am) and my passions, and I was going to a community college.

It took me three years to get an Associates, while I watched many of my former peers catapulting themselves to Bachelor-level classes and beyond. I would get to upper-level courses and discover my hard limits, where I could go no further. I excelled in mathematics in high school, and yet could not understand a word or symbol of advanced calculus, despite doing wonderfully in the prerequisites. I saw that in all areas of study.

I made the decision not to continue my studies, while most of my peers had completed theirs. I started working, first one job full-time, then soon two part-time, and now one part-time, one full-time, and a slew of side jobs in between.

And now, I am seeing many of those peers with higher-education degrees working jobs that I had already climbed the ladder to, or beyond. Many struggling with debts that their careers promised to pay off, but the careers were not open to them simply due to the state of the economy. Many of them have moved back home, while I, now, have moved out.

Teaching degrees and English degrees and more, living at home and working the counter at the local FedEx/Kinkos and greeters at AT&Ts. Biomedical students teaching themselves accounting on the job because it's the only thing they could find, or pushing carts at the local WalMart, Target, or Jewel. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with any of these, having these degrees or working these jobs, because I've been there, done that, got the paycheck, and moved up the ladder.

What I'm saying is this:

I'm no longer afraid of being lost in the shadows of my former peers. I have made my own successes without the crutches of higher-education.