Not too long ago I received a beautiful comment from one of my readers who was struggling with some family issues surrounding abuse. It made me realize what a long way I have come in my life, in only 35 years total. My journey toward living life fully started when I was freed at eighteen by my father who kicked me out on my 18th birthday. And I am going to share some of the pivotal moments as well as a nostalgic look back from where I am now. The journey has been long, but it has been so worth it.
Yes, it was the cruelest thing in the world to be kicked out at 18. I was a junior in high school, with no job and only a $1,000 CD as my savings. I became homeless and overnight had to begin taking care of myself in a way that I wasn’t ready to do. But looking back, 17 years later, it was the first of many steps toward breaking free of the abuse cycle. It called upon an inner core of strength that had been tested my whole life and was strong enough to handle it. Today, I look around me and I see many other young people today who are completely unprepared for life, let alone the many trials you will face along the way. My eighteen year old stepdaughter is in almost the same exact situation I was at her age yet she is completely incapable of figuring things out for herself. I realized recently that I have more than just a core of strength, but resilience and a willingness to just get it done. It’s a unique combination that includes a bullheaded refusal to be beaten by life or by anyone else.
Another pivotal moment happened shortly after that, when I realized I was not learning anything from high school. Up until that point, I had just done what I was told, and breezing through high school. It wasn’t that I was a genius but I am definitely smarter than the average. I could pass almost all my classes without studying – everything just came easily to me, with the exception of math. I was, quite frankly, bored. Fortunately my guidance counselor at my new school recognized that intelligence and encouraged me to enroll in a co-op program and computer classes. I was instantly fascinated. By the time I dropped out of high school my first week of my senior year, I had marketable skills that were heavily in demand. I took and passed my GED without even studying (I was naive enough at that time to not realize I needed to).
This set the stage for me to pursue education and learn new skills in unconventional ways. As a result I self studied for my securities licenses and developed even more life skills in addition to a new career. My unconventional career has given me the courage to pursue an entrepreneurial career, affording significant freedom. Where my peers agonize over whether to leave their comfy desk jobs and stable pay checks, I manage to combine both which has the added benefit of giving me the variety and challenge I thrive on.
The one area I have struggled with until recently is relationships. Of all the the areas of my life, relationships have confused me the most. I have spent countless hours in therapy trying to understand people. In that process I have learned some really