1. I ditched college. I didn’t even try to go. Unlike all of my friends (who were on the honor roll and in all the honor classes), I sucked at school. I barely passed my senior year. I had no idea if I was going to graduate. I hated math; I hated science; I hated anything that didn’t have to do with English or literature or the arts. I took three dance lessons a week (and I’m talking classical ballet here folks), was in band and creative writing and on the newspaper staff. I didn’t have time to think about studying or time to think about college. Four more years of school did not appeal to me whatsoever.
So I got a job. A really crappy job at an insurance company typing labels and filing. I made $5.00 and hour. I lived with my parents. I wanted to move out on my own, but knew that was a distant possibility. I eventually got a job as a word processor making $8/hour, which led me to the world of graphics. Which led me to where I am today – marketing assistant for an architectural/engineering firm doing graphics.
2. I got married when I shouldn’t have. I was twenty and stupid. I got married for all the wrong reasons – I wanted to move out of my parents house and I thought this guy was my meal-ticket there. It lasted all of two years until the day he decided to walk out. Of course, I had no idea that he was supposed to be on wellbutrin and some other meds for schizophrenia.
But it taught me you can only really depend on the people who matter most – your family. And marriage is not an escape route.
3. I missed a job interview by accident. When I decided to leave behind my first word processing job for the world of construction, I had several job interviews set up that week. I got my places mixed up on what day I was supposed to be where. I missed a job interview, but they were nice enough to see me the next day. I got the job. I also got my husband out of the deal. What I learned – keep an appointment book handy because I have short-term memory loss.
4. Bouncing back – from graphics to construction to graphics again. I was sick of commuting two hours a day, so I took a job 20 minutes from home – in construction. I loved the drive but the work was killer. I was stretched thin – my nerves and my health (chest pain, nose bleeds). After two years, I knew I had to do something. I had to get my sanity back. So I started looking for a job. I got damn lucky – the company I had been with previously was looking for a marketing assistant, but in their office that was still only 20 minutes from my house. I knew if I could get the job, I would be able to get my writing back on track and (hopefully) get my sanity back. I did everything short of groveling for the job. Thankfully, they were nice enough to give it to me.
And I know there’s supposed to be five, but hell I can’t think of five to save my life right now.