Andrew in Australia went on a bit of a rant the other day. My interpretation of what he had to say, was that he is was tired of self indulgent people complaining that life requires hard work. I offered a comment there, but I am inspired to elaborate here.
I have heard it from young people, complaints that you have to start at the bottom, that education takes time, is hard work, and in some parts of the world is expensive. I also hear a similar whine from a couple of older bloggers that others had advantages in life, that others have more resources in retirement.
And you know what, all of that may be true, but life is about what we make of what we have to work with. I have done fairly well in life by pushing myself beyond what anyone would have expected. None of my grandparents finished high school. My father dropped out of school in his teens, my mother finished high school in the middle of World War II. Education was not highly valued in my family.
My first job off of the farm, paid a barely living wage, with the promise of bonuses based on profitability. For that I worked 9 hour days, plus an early morning staff meeting one day a week. Often I was called on to work six or seven days a week, being "single" with no kids I was expected to cover for those with "families." The next job after that, paid a whole lot more, but I was expected to work 60-70 hours per week. The first time I took ten days off to go to England, I returned to a lecture about needing to be serious about work (to this day, I wish I had told Bill to go %uck himself that day.)
I worked my way through college, working full time, going to school part time, paying for it as I went. I spent nearly 10 years earning a four year degree. A couple of years later, I took a leap of faith, moved 800 miles, and applied to graduate school. I was the fourth oldest in my law school class. An unhealthy fear of failure drove me to work very hard and finish in the top of my class. I also took on enough student loan debt, to pay for a Mercedes, instead of the well worn Honda I was driving. I made extra payments and paid off my student loans in less than 8 years. My first job out of law school paid $28,000 a year to start- doing work I loved - but often demanding 60 hours weeks. I ended up moonlighting doing the kind of work I do now, because I needed the extra income. A decade after law school I took another leap of faith, a job 500 miles away in DC. A job that paid very well, but in an area with a very high cost of living. And 500 miles away 30 weeks out of the year from the person I love. Our love endured and our relationship lasted.
I am look at retirement in the predictable future. We are debt free. We will have nearly as much income in retirement as I currently earn (and I am the only earner this year, J is fully retired but delayed drawing retirement income for a year - resulting in a larger retirement income for life.) Life is good. But no one gave us any of this, we earned, we were careful with what we had, we made due, we avoided mountains of debt.
It has been a hard slog along the way. I have worked insane hours, often for people who wondered why I couldn't give more. I have a lot of education, because I worked my tail off for it, and paid for it.
So to anyone thinking life is hard - it is and and you get out of it, what you put into it.
Even those born with advantages in life find that life is not easy, and that they get out of it, what they put into it. I have never assumed that someone's life was easy, because they came from a different background.
Rant over- thank you for allowing me to vent.
I think one of the most important things to learn (and to learn early) is not to go into debt or, if some consumer debt is necessary, to get out of it as soon as you can. Except for buying a home (which is an investment), going to school (another investment), and perhaps buying a car (a necessary evil for many). Eliminating my youthful consumer debt as soon as I could was the best thing I could have done for my financial health. I haven't carried credit card debt in decades. .ReplyDelete
My parents were farmers, with an uncertain income, and seldom had debt.I learned a lot.Delete
Yeah, wot you said and I meant but you put it much more eloquently. But I do take on board how much harder it is for young people now.ReplyDelete
But we finished school before Google.Delete
LOVE the freddie pix! my first job out of college (1976) paid $7500/year; my shitty apartment rent was $100/month (utilities included). food and gas were cheap.ReplyDelete
moved to DC, married/divorced/remarried, moved back to philly. got cancer (31 year survivor). had 4 years of psychotherapy to fix my head.
has it been easy? FUCK NO! but I learned much. 2 songs that describe me:
PS - today's young people think they should be handed everything, start at the top, not have to work for anything. BULL FUCKING SHIT!
It isn't always easy, but we have made our way in the world, our way. Tune #1, was playing in the car as I was coming back from my morning outing.Delete
Love you, SweetiePie!ReplyDelete
You too, so proud of what you have done.Delete
That was a good rant! You are so right, life is hard work and is what you make of it.ReplyDelete
Thanks, the results are worth the effortDelete
Life is a very rude awakening for many, if not most, people. I agree with your rant. Never expect all the good things in life to just land in your lap out of the clear blue sky. YOU GOTTA WERK!ReplyDelete
Adulthood is not what I expectedDelete
Life is not fair; there is no justice; things of real value take time.ReplyDelete
These truths cannot be avoided.