I have heard so many teenagers say (or post on Facebook) “I can’t wait to get out of high school and start my life.” HELLO!!! Your life has already started. The day you could decide what color shirt to wear, how much effort you give to school, to like one person and not another, your life had begun. For real! Just because you’re in high school does not mean you don’t have a life. You actually have a much cushier life than you realize. You’re getting a free education, the option of two meals reasonably priced and well balanced (usually), you get to hang out with your friends most of the day, and several evenings/weekends, and you hardly have any bills. (Mom/Dad are still shelling out well over $5K a year for your butt. Insurance, dental, vision, food, tv, phone, internet, room & board, & such) You actually have more of a “life” than we do at this point.
Are you that anxious to go to work & make $10 per an hour? Or is it the living in your own place with a rent of $500 a month plus electricity $50, plus internet (not counting tv) $40, plus if you want your own cell phone or home phone $40 to $75. Lets not forget tv viewing add another $60 or more, plus maybe netflix streaming $8, and lets not forget your renters insurance $15 and car insurance $50 to $100 a month. Oh yes there’s food, which you can get by on fast food for only so long but that alone can cost you about $50 a week or more if you get the cheep stuff, but healthy real food would run you about the same (maybe $75 week) but would take you time that you probably don’t want to take to cook. You’d rather play Xbox or Wii or PS3 and let’s not forget your gaming subscription. What’s our total so far? $1040
$10.00 x 30 hours a week (who really gets full time right out of high school that pays more?) $300 a week x 4 = $1200 let’s subtract taxes $900 for the month. Not enough to support the above lifestyle. So let’s get a 2nd job $7.50 at a sandwich shop or fast food and you work another 30 hours a week for $225 x 4 weeks = $900, $675 after taxes. Total is $1575. So now you’re working 60 hours a week. Do you have time to hang out with your friends? What about sleep? Maybe household chores, dishes, laundry (add more $ if you don’t have a washer/dryer) cleaning the bathroom (Yeah you should do that frequently.) vacuum & mop the floors. There is your day off (if you even get a day off). Now none of the last two paragraphs talk about any medical, dental, or vision care. What happens if you get sick or break your glasses or chip a tooth? State & federal aid are becoming more restrictive, so maybe pop out a kid girls. What about
Is that what you’re really looking forward to? Realizing your life has already begun and you should make the most of every day will serve you well, even as a kid/teen. You’re suppose to test the boundaries (within reason) and make mistakes (that don’t cost a life) and learn from them, and learn from your peers and parents and their friends, the success and the mistakes (not failure). Open your eyes to your life. Your choices have already begun.
Today (Saturday 1/19) I went to a funeral today, for a classmate from high school. The first one of my classmates I know of that has died. I didn’t know Harold all that well recently, but I remember him more from junior high and high school. He was a typical pain in the ass when we were young, and funny and a smart ass. Several guys were in those years. Later, just a few years, I ran in to him again through a mutual friend and he was still funny and a smart ass, but it was nice to see him and it was fun to hang out with him and his girlfriend.
While I was there it really hit me that he was MY age and that we will all get to this point, some sooner than others. And that my life is happening with or without me. Time doesn’t stand still. If I wait for my life to begin I’d be waiting until I die. I had this thought a few years ago and had already started making changes to my life and not waiting for the “perfect” moment or until I was 10lbs lighter, or until the kids were older, or until… I’ve started doing shit NOW. Every choice is me impacting & controlling my life. Hopefully without disruption to someone else but rather enhancing their life too. To be productive at something. It is very easy to get in to slug mode and hide away and become depressed. I’ve been there. I’m not going back.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life and every day is a fresh start. Break the cycle of waiting until… and just do it already.