Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As We Grow, We Learn

I screwed up BIG TIME when I went to school and majored in Marketing. But before I get into that, I will give a little glimpse into something else....

There is a fairly good chance I will not be able to go to Spain in January because I do not have any savings. That's right, my idiocy and love for material items could potentially kill the one dream I've had for what seems like my entire life. Pretty typical of us as humans, right? The lust for things tends to kill our true loves far too often, at least here in the U.S.. I remember being a really smart spender when I was younger, always questioning several times if I really needed the item before I bought it. This led me to not make the purchase most of the time, but somewhere along the line, I lost that trait. Now, instead of "do I really need this," I am asking myself, "how much do I love this," and "how high are my feelings of 'can't live without?'" Instead of basing my purchases on if I really need the item or not, I gauge it on how much I am in love with it, and how much it costs/what's its opportunity cost. Because I never absorbed and applied the lessons my parents tried to teach me about saving money and putting some away each month, I am now in a position where I may have to take an alternative path than the one I really want to travel (no pun intended).

So as I begin to look at alternate options for my future, just in case I am unable to go to Spain, I am realizing more and more that, while I may be naturally good at marketing and business, it's not really what I want to do for work, in the conventional way that is. The jobs I find myself more drawn to are more on the end of photography, writing, design, fashion, recreation, human/body studies, fitness, nutrition, travel, exploration, inspiration, and life as a whole. None of these studies were covered in Marketing. At least not in enough depth to really give me a chance of getting an interview for a lot of the jobs I find interesting.

There's a big problem with the way we do things here in the United States. I know I have not traveled the whole world, but I am confident when I say that I have a global understanding, and I know enough about other cultures to know that we are doing it wrong (at least for the kind of person that I am). Here, we are so focused on being born, learning how to talk and walk, going to preschool, kindergarten, grades 1-8, high school, and then, it's expected of us to graduate and go to college. (Well, used to be, now there are shows like "16 & Pregnant" that pretty much condone teen pregnancy, and "Real Housewives" that inspire females to grow up to be dramatic, plastic women instead of actual, real people, and do NOT even get me started on the Kardashians.) I have learned, through firsthand experience, that this is where the problem lies. Too many of us now a days are born into a culture where we have an overload of exposure right off the bat. This leads us to knowing bits and pieces about a lot of different things. For some, it's wonderful, because they learn early-on what it is they want to spend their time and lives doing, but for others, it just means we are left with this interest in a laundry list of things, and not sure what direction to take.

There are so few of us that are actually prepared for college when we are 18-years old. I was in no way ready to go off and begin to start a degree that I'm supposed to use to get a job that I have for the rest of my life. I'm still not ready for that. Sure, I have a better idea now what I would like to spend my life doing, but it's taken me five and a half years to get where I am now! And I realize that we can't just take however many years to figure it out, while we work some job, and then go to college when we have it figured out, but I also think there is something to this: working hard from the time you are allowed to work, saving up your money, and NOT going to college right out of high school, (unless you know what you want to do) but instead, traveling. This would allow us to have more exposure to other people, ways of life, and places, so we can start to learn who we are, what we like, and what we are interested in spending our lives doing. Not to mention, it would instill in people a sense of ownership and a habit of working hard, something I fear too many of us lack these days. It's a flawed system, like so many of them are, and we have outgrown them.

The point is this: I'm looking at jobs I have little chance of ever getting because my degree doesn't match up to what they want, but I know without a doubt I could do the work and do it well. That sucks. And it isn't any better to know that I was swayed from my real interests because we just assume that people will grow out of most of them, and should pick a more generic path that will bring them "success." That is the peril of being influenced and controllable.

Today's thoughts: If I had just followed my desire to work in fashion when I graduated high school, then who knows where I would be today? (This is just one example of paths I thought of pursuing, but did not because I didn't make my own decisions, and because I let my lust for money trump my love.) I am now going backwards because I was too afraid that I wouldn't make a decent living doing what I really love, and that is a shame.

My name is Allison Fedor, and I am done being a sheep!

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