High school had a different effect on every single person. High school had the popular kids, the geeks, the misfits, and then there was my crowd. The ones that never really knew where they belonged. Or if they belonged to it all. High school was a mosh pit of deficiency at its finest.
There is a single event that changed my outlook on life that actually happened in high school. You see, by the time I got to high school I was in foster care. I was in and out of the “system” and I really did not listen to anyone. Ultimately I ended up dropping out of school, unofficially. I just stopped going. Since then I have gotten my GED and gone on to college to achieve my degree in criminal justice. But that is neither here nor there. Back to high school.
Like I was saying, high school was not a positive experience for me. My home life was in shambles and I did not know how to function. First of all, I didn’t really have any friends. Secondly, I was drinking whatever I could find (MD 2020). Lastly, I was just that kid that other kids were quite frankly, scared of.
There was once a boy in school named Christian. He was the typical punk rocker with long hair and he wore black clothes all the time. To me, he was someone that I should be idolizing because in my mind I thought he was cool. That was until Christian and I were sitting at one of the picnic tables outside the school where everyone gathered for lunch. Christian looked at me and basically told me I needed to get my sh** together if I wanted to accomplish anything in my life. I looked at him like he was insane, trying to give me life advice when he was dressed all in black like Satan’s love child!
I am now in my 40s and I still remember this conversation on the picnic table outside of River Valley High school in Three Oaks, Michigan. This conversation is what made me change my life. It was shortly after this conversation that I just stopped going to school. I hated the foster homes that the state was placing me in and I basically ran away from the whole system. A very very long story made very short; I got registered into the Job Corps Program and I began taking my life into my own hands.
While I was there I completed my GED successfully, on the first time I might add. I got several certifications in multiple industries of work. I became a certified contractor, certified plumber, a certified nurse’s assistant, I took multiple computer classes, and I basically threw myself into education. I was going to prove Christian wrong with making my life right! Of course, there were times that I stumbled, but I picked myself right back up and continued. I never stayed down for too long.
Now I am in my 40s and I have completed a huge obstacle of mine. That was to get my college degree. Before I enrolled in college I sat my family down and had a discussion with them. I wanted everyone to be on board and I wanted everyone to accept the fact that I would not be at their beck and call as much. Simply because I was focusing on myself. To my surprise; everyone was on board. I took no extensions and no alternate vacations during my college days. I graduated with several honors and now I can look back on that as another accomplishment that Christian said I would not have.
So, I guess the moral of the story is; no matter where the life-changing event happened, acknowledge it. Realize that that event has been put into the atmosphere for a reason. For a positive reason. So many people look at their high school days in a negative manner, just don’t be like those people. I could have taken that conversation between Christian and me and turned it around in such a negative manner. However, I chose to turn it around and produce positive results from it.
Thank you, Christian; for changing my life, for the better.
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