Looking back at my life at the age of 18 makes me appreciate where I am now.
At 18 years old, I had just graduated out of Girard College High School in Philadelphia, PA. I was unsure if, where, and how I was going to college. Would I be able to graduate college, and where I would get the money?! I didn’t know what I would choose as my occupation. I was working two part-time jobs and balancing new challenges of being “grown” at 18 years old.
I was living in a one bedroom apartment with my mom, and my grandma. I was sleeping on the couch with about a foot of closet space and three shelves for clothes. I was helping raise my newborn sister and coping with a family member dealing with a crack addiction. My brother was struggling with being a teenager but he lived with his father. I was thinking about joining the military but everyone was saying, “The military ain’t for no black man.” My uncle Rusty was in the air force and my uncle Greg was in the navy. They were the only two black men I knew that had money. I really wanted to join the military but my uncle Rusty said, “Get your degree first!” I didn’t have a plan but this plan was the best plan I could commit to, I had nothing else.
I enrolled in Peirce Junior College and worked two jobs until graduating and transferring to Morgan State University. I worked three jobs while attending MSU full-time. I graduated, moved south to Washington, DC and never looked back. The rest is history.
Switching gears, same topic…
Every time I see an old friends on Facebook I always say, “If you’re ever in DC, give me a call.” Well yesterday my old friend from Peirce Jr. College, called me. Deb and her husband, Monte were in town to support their daughter, Shanice. She was attending the “The congress of future medical leaders” at the DC Armory. Deb called me yesterday at like 8am in the morning…crazy, but I’m glad she did. My girlfriend and I invited Deb and her husband Monte to brunch. We sat and talked about old times. The discussion was soo positive. They were so proud of their daughter and it seemed like we hadn’t changed a bit. We sat together in the Founding Farmers restaurant and had a blast. I was just meeting Monte and Deb was just meeting Carma but it was like we were old friends. It was no drama no nonsense just 4 adults talking about our successes, family, and viewpoints.
The discussion made me revert back to a time twenty or so years ago when I had no plan. I had no college degrees, no money, no friends in other countries, no businesses, no cars, no resume (civic or professional), no house, no golf clubs, no passport, and no dog. Deb and Monte were not married or together yet. She was just beginning her career, Monte wasn’t a published author yet. Their daughter Shanice, hadn’t been selected in the “National Honor Society”, she wasn’t even born yet.
This weeks blog is about the possibility of life. At 18 years old I had no idea how my life would turn out. Being among old and new friends with similar drive and determination. Being happy about shared successes, networking and relating the struggle that pays off over time. Looking at what your best is at the time, and watching it get better. Looking back on my goals that became accomplishments and those accomplishments that became a life I’m proud of.
That life is out there for you. Believe it, it is, just go get it. Don’t look to your friends to define you…don’t look at where you are but where you want to go. Do look out beyond everyone’s expectations reach for your imagination and make it a possibility.
Venus ethos, ““I can do this even if you don’t think I can”