Elementary, Middle, High school, College, workforce, marriage, children, more workforce, retirement, grandchildren, death.
This cycle looks familiar to the majority of first world dwellers. It may differ in places, some don’t go to college, some get married twice, etc.
I had never seriously considered the option of skipping or dropping out of college until a few weeks ago. Now, before you start mentally lecturing me on how many opportunities it will provide me with, and that it is a time of substantial growth, I am not dropping out. (Not yet anyway)
I had the chance to interview an entrepreneur for class last month (we’ll call him Bill), and several things he had to say were enlightening to me. Bill was a part of the corporate workforce for quite a while before he decided to jump out and start his own software company. When I asked him if there was anything he wished he had changed about his experience as an entrepreneur, his response shocked me. Bill said that he often wishes he had skipped college, and all of the years he wasted in the corporate world, to start his business venture sooner.
He was genuinely confused as to why someone would waste their time at a big company (or any company) if they aren’t happy. He said, “What is the difference between [working at a large corporation] and going to class everyday? If you aren’t satisfied, change something until you are. I did.”
I suppose this has something to do with my post a couple weeks ago. I am still learning to apply what I’ve learned in different areas of my life. I am realizing that I don’t have to follow the status quo of ‘the American life cycle’. There are no rules that say I must go to college, and wait to get married until after I graduate, and have a stable job that supports me and my husband and our children. None. No rules. I felt the ‘black and white’ of my previous life creeping back in this week as I caught myself thinking, “dropping out = bad, getting married very young = bad, graduating with a 4.0 = good, etc.”
Whatever the case, shit happens. And whether I do good things, or bad things, or things that fall somewhere in the gray area, it doesn’t matter. I’m still shaky on my faith, but I believe that Jesus died for all my sins. All of them. Past, present, and future. In His eyes, I am perfect. Nothing I can do will make Him love me less. And nothing I do will make Him love me more. I cannot earn Him. I have Him. So now what? I’ll tell you what: LIVE. Not how you are told to live, but how you were made to live.
Maybe I want to drop out right now. Maybe I want to plan a wedding and get married so I don’t have to wait 6 days between each visit with my boyfriend whom I am madly in love with. Maybe I don’t want a stable job. Maybe I don’t want to work 9-5, M-F. Maybe I want adventure. Maybe I don’t care if I don’t know where my next meal will come from! Maybe (hopefully not) I will marry young and it will be a disaster! (I have always been taught divorce = bad) Who knows?
This is radical, I know. And I also know that if everyone decided to do this, it would likely result in disaster. However, implementing some of the principles here can make a world of difference.
Now, an amazing way to end this post would be to announce I am quitting school and running off with my boyfriend. News flash: if that was your hope, you are about to be disappointed.
Quitting college is an option, getting married within the next two years is also an option, but if I did those things now, it would be for no reason other than to make a point. I’m not going to do things BECAUSE they are radical, but I want to do more things DESPITE the fact that they are radical.
I want to focus on taking my life back and no longer letting the ‘christian’ or ‘american’ or ’20-something’ status quo make my choices for me. Be yourself to the extreme.
Because again, the world is not black and white, it is saturated with color. It is beautiful.
Peace and love, Leah