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You Gotta Keep Your Head Up

Anyone who’s asked questions about my childhood or about my life in general, knows that I’ll be painfully honest about it. I’m not ashamed. I’m actually rather proud of the long way I came.

Growing up, I think the only person who thought there might be hope for me was my grandfather. It’s probably because he’s the one who signed my report cards. Other than that, I don’t think anyone ever thought I’d make it very far in life. This blog post came to mind, when I asked Alex the other day if he felt like he made it far in life because I wasn’t sure I felt like I had. I was an honor roll kid. I always had good grades and for the most part I never missed school. In high school, I used to go up to Alex and show him of how awesome my test scores were and how I passed my all SOLs advanced. But lately I haven’t been feeling like I’m living up to who my 17 year old self planned I’d be.

There were a lot of things I wanted to be. I wanted to everything from a fashion photographer like Nigel Barker, to a magazine editor, and even a defense attorney so I could keep my mother out of jail. Then eventually I was saying that one day was going to be the CEO of my own company (hey! I really did this, didn’t I?!) And I promised myself I wouldn’t get married and have kids for at least 10 years, to allow myself to live and grow and I pretty much did that too. So why was I feeling so inadequate about myself?

I dropped out of college. That was it. I had always prided myself on how smart I was. I aced every math and science class I ever took but I still dropped out of college. I always try to remind myself that the reasons I left school were not because I couldn’t do it and solely because I couldn’t fund it. It’s hit me a lot harder now that I transitioned from active duty into the civilian workforce. I often get asked where I got my degree from. And it I always start with, “Well… I went to VCU,” because I am really proud of that and I loved my school. “but I never finished my degree there and received my Associates Degrees (yes, all three – cause I can’t figure it out) from NOVA.” It makes me feel really insecure about myself at times. Since my Grandfather I was the first to graduate from high school and have been the only one to even attempt to attend a university. I always tell myself that one day I will go back and finish my degree. Until then, I’ll have to remind myself to still keep my head held high because my lack of degree doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t turn out all that bad for the rough childhood that I had.

So if you’re ever feeling down about yourself, don’t think of the things you didn’t do… Remind yourself of the many things you have accomplished.

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