October 8, 2008

Choices Made

ch 35.

Have you ever considered your life? Where you are now? What and Who in your future might be included and not included? I wish I could try and distinguish this blog from the "it's what you do with it" series of blogs, the difference being, I think, that those ones are meant to be pro-active whereas this is supposed to be about who you are now as a result of choices made.

This is about paths travelled and bridges crossed (or burnt). It's about those big time decisions that you've made that have significantly altered the way your future might turn out. For example, rather than studying those courses I need to graduate in December, I am wasting time writing this. What if I didn't graduate?! I can't even imagine it!!!

There are only a few times in a person's life (I am guessing about 10 - 15 big ones) that they will have to make some of those life-altering decisions. (I hope that writing this here and now is not one of them).

When we are about 6, we have bed times. When we are 10, we have homework. We are exposed to the first smokers in our midst @ age 14. Curfews are common when we hit 16. With little (parental) guidance/enforcement, we are pretty likely to take advantage of everything we can get away with. A snowball effect is created and you might just end up with someone who will not even (heaven for bid) be getting any post-secondary education.

Life-confirming decisions

After you've survived those adolescent years, the choices we have to make don't get easier. Sometimes options become even more limited @ year 18 depending on those choices made earlier in life. Some might argue against this saying that even kids who got a job @ 14, stayed out til 3 @ 16 and did all the hard drugs by 18 still have opportunity to be happy. Cuz that's what this life is really all about, isn't it? But even for the "good kid" with lots of options and opportunity, the decisions don't get easier.

After highschool, kids have to determine if they are capable or eligible of the following:

    • Post-Secondary School or Full Time Work
    • World Travel, Move Out, or Stay at Home
    • Which friends stay and which friends go
    • Are you going to marry your highschool sweetheart?
There are a lot of restraining factors that will determine what kind of kid does what. If your parents have degrees, stats show that you are more likely to go get some sort of post-secondary. If the kids parents are in debt, he/she will either have to get a job or get away.
These 4 decisions often determine what we are setting ourselves up for waaay down the road. By choosing work rather than school, it's possible that the money will be good at the beginning but the job won't offer much opportunity for advancement later in life. By choosing to travel, you are either choosing to spend Daddys Money, go into debt, or if you are lucky, spend all that scholarship money. The benefits in travelling young being that you get more "cultured" and a broader understanding of societies other than our own, and not being arthritic.
It must be nice to go through life not ever even contemplating your untravelled paths. Or to have already travelled them all. What if you actually did break it off with that one person after 3 years? What if you didn't take that job away from home when you knew your father's health was worsening. What if you didn't have facebook and couldn't be have got in touch with your "friend" from grade 5? If they were really your friend, why didn't you spend more time talking to them all along? What if you didn't rely on talking and texting to organize your day while driving. Maybe that child on the bike would still be alive. 

You might tell me it's not too late to make a change. This is true in some cases but the later we go through life, the more instilled we get in our ways and less likely we are to change. That's why you should start donating blood tomorrow. (It's not hard and only takes an hour every 56 days.) Beyond these important decisions we have to make now, there's not going to be too many more. These will likely include deciding how much debt you want to incur when you buy your first house. It might include whether you know in your heart if you might happily raise children with your significant other, or not. It might include getting extra education or maybe even leaving town once and for all.

Without trying to sound like a broken record, the last thing I have to say about this is be true to yourself. Don't let others manipulate you into being someone less than the person that you think you can be. Have confidence in your abiltiy to set yourself up for a future with limitless possibilities. And grow a pair.

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