Sustainable Eco Villages

Русский Español Português English
Blogs :: 49 Posts

Coming to Terms: Finding My Motivation

  Messages & Comments  
When I was a kid in middle school, each year our teacher asked us to write ourselves a letter to give to ourselves at the end of the year. In these letters we are asked to share our goals, dreams, aspirations, memories, etc in hopes to motivate us to stay on track. In HS, we wrote our Senior selves the same letter as freshmen. Every time you opened the letter, you were met with goals you forgot, goals you skipped, goals you found unrealistic, and dreams that your now older self thinks is super childish.

A week into my freshman year, we held an assembly. We are told to look to our left, then to our right, and one of those two people would more than likely drop out. A week into our sophomore year, and another assembly is held. We talk about extracurricular activities and what electives are going to be important for our HS career. Our Junior year, another assembly, and this one is reflective of what jobs we want "when we grow up" and making sure we are preparing for SATs and prom. Our Senior year, we talk about where we see ourselves, building a trajectory and staying on track... I remember that one the most because I've thought about it often.

The speaker asked where we saw ourselves in a year. At the time it was more than obvious: college. But what did I want to DO? Well, I was good with music, I liked kids... so teaching music to kids seemed, again, obvious. How about five years? Well, again, obvious. My music degree would probably be a two year degree and I'd be working at some elementary or middle school. This was easy! I'd be single, I'd be family oriented and I'd have lots of volunteer projects. How about ten years? I'd visit my ten year reunion with all of my besties I was graduating with, I'd own a home and I'd have a hot lawyer/doctor boyfriend to show off. I'd have a ton of nieces and nephews and things would be great! I'd live in a house similar to Ms. Honeys from Matilda, with wild flowers in a cottage. My green thumb would can and jar all my food and I'd be happy as a little tree-hugging clam. Awesome assembly guys! I sealed up my notes to save for a later day and went to my 4th period class. Band.

My HS band teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor, my favorite teacher of all time and my biggest role model, pulled each senior aside into her office and asked us what we wanted to do and how we were making plans to reach it. While I always thought about just "going to college", I wasn't doing ANYTHING to get there. I hadn't filled out a single application, hadn't visited a single website, and hadn't even talked to my parents about it. She, being the awesome person she is...

told me she was disappointed in me.

The emotions? What do think they were?

Shock. Sadness. Anger. Confusion. Embarrassment... and disappointment in myself.

I was a talented, bright, energetic, friendly, outgoing, (did I say talented?) ambitious and smart girl who could be and do ANYTHING I wanted. And I wasn't doing anything. I was 18 and I wanted out of teeny tiny Jesup, GA and while the want was there, the motivation wasn't, and therefore, the action wasn't either. I later found out Mrs. Taylor made some calls and set up some interviews for me at about 10 different schools. In the next 3 days I had multiple recruiters for bands across the state wanting me to come and play, scholarships FLYING at me. I landed the first college with flying colors. They heard me play one note and was hooked. I was moving to Savannah, GA.

And so I did. My mom dropped me off and never looked back. Three kids sent to college, three to go. She had her own dreams and responsibilities to tend to, so I was on my own... and I wasn't ready. That two year degree? Yeah... right. Try four. And it wasn't easy. My first semester was nine classes just to make my credit hours, and my second was seven. My roommates? they had 3-4 each... and it was taking it's toll.

You see, there's a pattern here. My teachers told me what to do, and I did it. My parents told me what to do, and I did it. Society told me what I should do, so I did it.

And I flunked.

I didn't FULLY flunk. I got sick (real sick) and couldn't attend classes. Then I couldn't recover because of sickness and lack of a schedule. I was delusional to think that I was immortal, unbreakable even. Because I was, and it happened. I attended college for one year, 08/2006 - 08/2007. Since everyone else did my paperwork for college, when year two rolled around I had no idea how to sign up for scholarships or for classes. So when I received a knock on my door, I was shocked to find I had less than 12 hours to move out. And I did. I moved out and away.

year one over.

So I moved to Brunswick, GA and lived with my brother, met some awesome people, found out I'm a sap for guys, was screwed over, and then I got really sick again... and this time, I didn't have an on-campus facility to aid me... but I had a lucky break and a friend pay for me to move back to Savannah for my birthday. That was 01/2008. I promised myself I'd get back in school, I'd complete my music degree and everything would be swell.

But then the calls came. "Miss, your students loans are not paid up. You owe us $1500", "... you owe us $2500...", "... you owe us...", "... Miss, your medical bill is in...". *insert long sigh here*

And that's when I started to get on top of myself. One bill at a time. Defer this loan, pay this one. I then spent the next two years moving over 20 times. Yes, 20. I was homeless, I was living rent free, I was in a relationship, I gained weight... a lot of weight. I fell out of love, I was unemployed. I was robbed. Then I was robbed again. Then I was robbed at gun point. Then I was robbed again. rinse and repeat that another couple times. I learned that some places are safer than others. I was homeless again. I lost everything. I was arrested for shoplifting... and that was the last straw. I was a goody goody girl. The person who caught me asked if I was a quaker. When I asked why, he said it was because I was probably the nicest, sweetest, most kind person he'd ever met... and the fact that I didn't own a car or cell phone didn't help either. Boom. Bye-bye confidence. Those next three hours in the holding cell felt like twenty-four. I was in a place I was terrified of... what happened? How'd I get here?

After that, things looked better. I got a great job, a place to live... I developed a love for LARPing and playing D&D with a huge circle of friends. I embraced my spirituality and was active in a large pagan community here. I had more ups and more downs, another homeless spout, found a temporary living arrangement, found a boyfriend and eventually a life partner. He was my savior really. He gave me focus. I was just trying to do for me so much that I never really knew what I wanted at all, and things just kept falling apart. But he gave me something to take care of, something to nurture. And I've blossomed.

My good job got better. I stopped hanging with one circle of friends, then another. I rejoined the pagan community after a long hiatus. I supported my life partner into a new career. I adopted a pet. I developed friendships, actual friendships. I found how to be happy by myself. I learned my strengths, and my weaknesses. I found support. I found like minded people. I found that 18 year old inner self that was bursting with potential. And then I found what I wanted. What I'd always wanted... to be different. To create something different.

It's 2014. I found my old yearbook. It brought back the memory of that letter, long lost I'm sure in one of my moves... but I remembered most of what I had written. In one year I'd be in college, in two I'd graduate, in five I'd be in a career... it hit me hard. I hadn't accomplished anything I set to do.

It's 2014. This May makes my eighth year since I graduated. I'm no closer to any of my goals as I was the day I threw my cap in the air. I never graduated college, and I tried to go back. Most of my student debt is gone, but I'm still in the mindset of trying to fit into societies broken system. I bought a car... a new car... and I regret it every. single. day. I'm in debt. It'll be paid off in another 5 years, which isn't so bad, but that means every extra penny I have is going into someone else's pocket for something I don't like or feel safe driving. I'm paying money for someone else to own a home I could be kicked out of at a moments notice. I'm buying food that feeds me, but doesn't feed me. It took some real sitting down to realize that my life isn't just not sustainable, it's toxic. It breeds unstability. It uses up my energy and what little bit of resources I have. After working since my 16th birthday, 10 years as of this past January, the only thing I have to show for myself is an obese body, a house full of furniture, and an overpriced piece of metal with tires. I haven't learned a thing about the world around me. I couldn't tell you the different types of wildflowers in my back yard, what little space it is, and I couldn't even identify the insects that I find occasionally singing under my window at night or the birds in the morning. I'm out of touch with the earth, yet I wonder why I'm always tired, depressed, and over stressed. I work too much for too much of nothing.

And this was my awakening.

I have a plan. I have a goal. I have more motivation now than I can deal with on my own (and I'm willing to share!). I want freedom. I want air, clean clean air. I want a fresh picked tomato. I want homemade vegetable soup. I want fresh herbs and clean water. I want to hear the sounds of my own rooster Eugene as he crows for me each morning (and yes, I am already pre-naming my future animals! lol)

I want a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle amongst other sustainable, eco-friendly homes. I want community. I want shared life. I want to share a basket of corn for that ladies basket of cucumbers. I want fresh strawberries for everyone.

As for my 18 year old self and all of her goals... I still have two more years before that time is up. Lets see what I can do.

  • May 6 2014 at 08:27 pm
MermaidOnLand I loved reading this!!! Very touching, very real, and also not too far from my own story. Thank you for sharing that.
September 12 2014 at 07:22 am

New Blogs

Top Searches

  Search Terms  
Is there anybody out there?   trees  
Swales   sdfgdsfg  
Cigar   Cygnet  
Oasis   Jaguar  
Cigar Factory