In order to navigate life’s challenges I find it is best to flow like water. Depending on the situation, water can be a trickle or a surge, but its basic composition remains the same. Living life like water allows one to tackle life’s ups and downs while remaining intact at the core. My ability to become water started at a young age. I have risen like a Phoenix from many a situation because of this ineffable trait.
Years ago, when I asked my father for help to pay my college tuition he told me, “You do not need a high college degree. A degree does not guarantee a job”. A high school drop out at 15, I was finally close to realizing a long held dream to go to college. After realizing the choices I made were unwise, I enrolled in a GED class eventually making my way to complete my SAT exams. I was proud of my achievements but knew they were just the beginning.
My father, on the other hand, thought it was a waste of time. He felt I should be grateful for my housekeeping job. However, I wanted to break a cycle that was generations in the making. My mother, grandmother and great grandmother took care of homes of the affluent before I was born but I had higher aspirations. I did not want to stagnate in a dead end job for countless years because of low expectations.
In 1999, I became a college graduate at age 36. However, instead of going into the career I always dreamed of, I became a stay-at-home mom and a homeschooling parent. Fortunately, there were plenty of jobs available, but I chose to take care of my family. My father was wrong about my inability to get a job after graduation. Instead, adapting and like flowing water,I used my skills from college to prepare the next generation for the future.
Today, my daughter is about to start her own college journey because of the investment I made in myself so many years back. Going back to school, after dropping out, was the best decision I made for my life even without financial support from the most important male figure in my life. I still remember his words like they were uttered yesterday. Nevertheless, the ability to flow with life has allowed me to keep rising and I am thankful for that. Today, I am teaching my daughter to “be like water.”
If you are in situation where someone is telling you your dream is not realistic do not be dissuaded. Those who suppress another’s dreams are usually afraid to dream themselves. Go with the flow, be like water and keep going anyway. If you are sincere about your choice, doors once closed will open to make your wildest dreams come true.
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Originally published at niume.com.
Originally published at medium.com