Never Would Have Made It... Without Me...

"Never Would Have Made It" became the unofficial song for my clasmates and I. This song makes my friends from college and I cry. It's been a year (official on the 9th) since I graduated from college. There were times where we all thought we weren't going to make it, but we look back and we know that it was the support and the advice we gave each other that helped us make it 4 years at one of the best (and sometimes hardest, and sometimes most stressful, and sometimes stupid racist and sometimes BEAUTIFUL) universities in our country. From academics, to social, we really helped each other make it.

However, there's still something to be said for our own drive. There were plenty of people who came in with us and didn't finish with us. Either they left, or they were forced to take time off or whatever... but they started the race in our lane and didn't finish it. This isn't to suggest that they are failures, because they are not, but it is to point out that outside support and encouragement was so important but not the only thing necessary to make it. There was that little bit of "something" that we each had in ourselves. Self-motivation, self-discipline, self-encouragement, even, were things that got us through.

I once had a conversation with a friend of mine about some comments someone made to me that upset me. This is a lady that has mentored me over the years, been an ear when I was frustrated and been very encouraging to me. Once during a series of e-mail exchanges, something she said (the exact wording escapes me now) implied that my academic (and some personal) success was solely because I had gone to a private high school. The high school I attended me afforded me all kinds of amazing opportunities that I'm grateful for more and more everyday. Many of those opportunities have opened doors to put me in the position I'm in now (and was doing when we had this discussion). But so many people wanted to go to that high school and didn't get in. Many of the friends I made at that high school who graduated with me haven't achieved many of the things that people thought they would. I have to be careful how I quantify achievement. I don't want anyone to think you only define success one way, because you don't. But I talk to them and I know they're not happy with where they are when they had "so much going for them." They aren't successful on their own terms.

There's something about individuals. A certain drive, or way of seeing things that propels us forward. SOme people have it, others don't. In fact, I'm more inclined to believe that we all have it, we just don't always find ourselves in situations that will help us pull it out.

What bothered me about what this lady said to me, most, was that she discounted who I am as an individual, from the conversation. As if I never could have made it had I not lucked up on the opportunity to attend the schools that I did.

What brought this topic up for me was an assertion a friend made that she and I have our jobs because of a 3rd party. My first thought was "maybe you do, but I worked my behind off in an unpaid internship that I got by myself, to prove that I'm a good and reliable worker. I did the work, and the 3rd party noticed. Period." Too often we discount ourselves and what we bring to the table.

I assure you, you bring a heck of a lot to the table on GP. These external things, they just help you mold and straighten up what you already have, which IS a heck of a lot and never should anyone forget that. Seems like I got people trying to make me forget it, but that's gonna be a fail.

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