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Have you ever gotten to a place where you’re finally able to connect the dots?
I’m currently looking at what I have experienced and thinking, “I get it now.” I’m reflecting on all aspects of life, including family, friends, romantic partners, and even more recently, my education and my journey into what I thought was going to be my career.
I get it now.
When I was a kid, reading and writing were never something I’d be found doing. It wasn’t long before the teacher said that I had a learning disability—I had to do a special spelling test, I got pulled out of my classroom to get help with reading, and I spent many years trying to learn the difference between “B” and “D.”
I despised anything that had to do with words. This wasn’t only the case in my younger years though. I recently took an English course at university and I was dedicated to writing my papers about topics that inspired me. The professor was not a fan, and I barely passed the course.
Well, look at where I am now—I am writing, although people told me I wasn’t able to work with words.
The thing is, I went to university and never felt like I belonged. I constantly felt drained, unmotivated, and bored, and the amount of effort I put in was minimal.
At first, I graduated with a two-year certification in veterinary assisting—that was after my high school counselor had told me I would never make it into veterinary school, so naturally, as a teenager, I believed her and settled for assisting. I made it, but once I graduated, I never stepped foot into another vet clinic—I just did not want it.
Then I worked toward a degree in Spanish. It wasn’t long before I lost interest and transferred into my current degree in Health and Physical Education, which is more aligned with who I am, but still, I’m not feeling inspired or excited.
Well, I finally understand why I’ve always felt so drained by many years of trying to get an education: maybe I was never meant for it.
Don’t get me wrong though. I am grateful for all the years I had, as they have allowed me to gain a better perspective now. I am also grateful for all the people I have met and the opportunity they gave me to finally choose me.
Right now, I am living and exchanging energy with everything and everyone in a way that doesn’t require me to go to school. The knowledge I am applying now comes from everything I have learned from the school of life.
All the relationships, the encounters, and the choices I made have led me to where I am today. It has nothing to do with what I studied, what I learned from a textbook, or what I wrote in a research paper.
I think about all the years I spent living in what I thought I wanted—living for the need to be identified as someone who has a “real job.” But that isn’t me (not anymore, at least). My life purpose now is to spend my time connecting with people, feeling my emotions, and growing in all aspects of life—spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, and intellectual—but on my own terms.
My textbook now consists of authors who inspire me, spiritual teachers, coaches, and entrepreneurs who I connect to.
Reflecting on my experience in the school system, I think about how my uniqueness, creativity, and desire to learn about relationships and personal growth were not nurtured. Instead, they were diminished.
My education is no longer my identity or success—school simply isn’t for me.
I realize now that the feelings of discomfort I had were my soul talking to me. It was my inner knowing telling me that there was a reason I didn’t feel like I was thriving.
But instead of listening to that message, I chose to listen to the societal expectation of being a graduate and finishing school. I guess the most prominent lesson school has taught me was to not listen to myself and not trust my emotional discomfort as a sign.
I thought I was fine because I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.
I don’t believe my experience in school cultivated healthy relationships, speaking for myself, or creating what I felt was right for me.
If you choose to take anything from my experience, it’s that the words others have labeled you as are not who you are. Your definition of success does not have to match everyone else’s, and your journey through life may not look like the acceptable choice, but it is important, anyway.
You are important.
I encourage you to live as if anything is possible, and trust me, you can be anything you want to be.
What you have to offer to this world goes far beyond textbooks, papers, and final exams. You can also offer love, growth, personal knowledge, and a beautiful presence to all those you encounter.
I don’t know about you, but I know for a fact that all of these say more about me than a degree.
I am currently finishing my degree and balancing that with the passion that has now found me. Once I became open to surprises and gained a new mindset of what my life could look like, my purpose became clear to me.
I am not against those who attend school, as I also recognize the benefits of learning and working toward finding their own purpose and passion.
I leave it to you to decide what the definition of your success is because you are always where you are meant to be.
I leave you with these words that I wrote in my journal not long ago that seem fitting:
“There are so many things I have learnt that I could label as my greatest lesson, so instead, I will label life itself as my greatest classroom.”
Always listen to your intuition and follow your inspiration.