Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Biggest Regret

Currently, I am undertaking Anthony Robbins Personal Power II. This is tmy second time (all the way through, in a committed way I mean). In doing so, recent "assignments" have included looking at "biggest regrets" and "failures" in life. Overall, I'd say its a very positive program to do, this part of it has to do with adjusting feelings about failures and rejections and pointing to a better future within ones self. In my life, I would have to say my biggest regret is: not going to college. Now I have an associates degree in Supervisory Management, and I am proud that I buckled down and got it, but what I mean by "college" is the full on college experience. I don't know how much my life would have been improved by attending college, or if I would be doing bigger and better things right now, but I know my life would have been enriched by the structured knowledge, additional socialization, and the (more) defined life map that college would have brought to me. I don't know if I would've lived in a dorm or not, or how far I would have gone, but I feel that a four year (or even additional) degree would have benefitted me greatly. So what was I doing when I was "supposed" to go to school in my early twenties? I was working away at jobs, constantly buying music, eating crap like Little Debbies and Flaming Hot Cheetos and dreaming about being a rockstar, though doing little in the way of effort of becoming one, other than playing along with my favorite cds occasionally. I was lazy, not in the way of working a "day job" but as far as pursuing my dreams to an extent that there would be anything that resulted from them. But I now feel that even by the time I was in bands (which wasn't until later), I could have gone to a four year college and be on the way onto a career that suited my liking more than the current "career" (if one can call it that), at least as a "backup plan". And the self discipline that required more concentration than working mindless jobs would prepare me for anything that I wanted to be, whether or not I continued on or not after the 4 year attainment. Now I have dreams about what might have been if I got a master's or phd in history, archeology, english, or any of the other things that interest me other than music. But instead I was lost in a cesspool of my own neuroses, obsessions and (yes) unrequited crushes. The only saving graces for me were music and watching movies and playing video games with my friends. I had some good times with them, and my job was in a public customer service role at a busy intersection, ironically, I served the same people mainly who were in the position I should have been in, that is, students. I would've had to transfer from a tech school to the four year college, but my mother at the time had a boyfriend who had even offered to pay for at least a lot of the transfer classes. I took three classes at the time and subsequently dropped them. I was distracted and obsessed with other things. One of those things, was unfortunately, something I'm embarrased to admit now. But being the young person I was, I had this strange obsession with this woman who I hardly knew (I had two dates with her, and she had shown interest, so its not as creepy as it sounds though it is). I realized later I was putting all these projections onto this ideal of her that were extremely flawed, but luckily I grew out of this phase, (as being an inexperienced virgin can lead to some strange thoughts when so deprived). But this wasn't the end of it. I overcame and grew out of this phase, and tried a little harder with the music thing while I got better and better paying call center jobs. I then decided to go to school simultaneously and kept changing my mind as I dropped classes, unable to focus, unable to decide what I wanted to do. I passed some of those classes though and continued on. Then I dropped again, and went back, dropped again, a few more times. I then had a notion that I could get better at my cubicle insurance job, and saw that one of my supervisors had taken a supervisory management program that met at nights at the local community college. I went to the night classes, did pretty well (for a change), and then struggled to finish the remaining classes during the day after I had initially finished the night portion of the program. By then I had racked up 10's of thousands of dollars in student loans, and I was really no better off. I never starved though, but what happened next threw me for a loop. I was fired. I decided if being unemployed was what it was going to be, I had better damn finish this degree. And I did. It was a struggle to focus on the math parts of classes, the accounting class in particular was hard to finish. I took it FOUR times and dropped it three times. The fourth time, it was an acccelerated month class during the spring, and I spent hours wrapping my head around the bullshit, but I MADE IT. This was the last class in the progrm I took, and I even got a B (though dammed if I can recall any of it). By this time, it was unimaginable with the student loans I had taken out (though i didn't take any more for the finishing of the degree) that I would ever go back to college again, and my more advanced age didn't help things in my head either. I finally got a job after living it up on unemployment for 9 months, worked there for a year, got another much better job, and here I am. I'm still in the entry level position at my job and feel no desire to manage people. Readers of this blog may read the prior post and see what I have planned. And I fully want to take things to their fullest this year. But I do wonder what might have been a lot of the time. I think of all the fields that interested me and all that I excelled in like English, History, Sociology, Psychology, and more. I think if I were to go back to school now, or go back in time and go to school, I'd go for some time of Biblical or Middle Eastern history degree, or something of that matter. I'd go for my full on PHD or at least my Master's Degree. And I know I would be able to do it as well, despite the annoying math classes I would have to take. I would find a tutor and would work my ass off but make it, and fully transfer to the university system. But I made bad choices, accumulated bad habits, and couldn't concentrate. I also had the music bug, though I made flawed decisions regarding this as well, and never broke through (we'll see about my current project though, hahaha). I felt left behind the world, and I'm still cleaning up from the years where I didn't do all that I set out to do, or put forth the effort to do what I wanted to do. I also imagine what may had been socially in college, even if I was a dork in my early twenties clueless with women, I probably would have done better in that area by default, and I may had even done the "normal, expected" path that a middle class white male usually is set upon. I imagine my life would have been very different, not living with a roommate neccesarily while above the age of 30, not working a job that I have to often force myself to enjoy. The experience of meeting different people, of going the full university route would have been invaluable to me, instead of working constantly at jobs I usually only remain entry level in year after year. So all in all, my biggest regret is not going to college. It sounds weird when I am so passionate about music, but I didn't really get fully started in music until two years after I would've graduated with a Bachelor's anyway (if I would have gone). I guess I could say, I could use this regret as a metaphor also for the lack of work I put into my music at the time as well. I was in bands, but wouldn't practice enough, and we were all blinded by trying to force different elements together that didn't work a lot of the time. On a side note, my vision for music is a lot less clouded and more direct nowadays, though no less adventurous. But the distraction, the lack of focus effected more than my scholarly life back then is the point in bringing that up. And its hard to say where the music and the bands would have gone with more initiative as well. But either way, going the full on university route seems appealing even for back then because it would've given me the concentration to make it better in music as well. But I got dragged down to working a job, and loafing and resting on my laurels in more ways than one. I fully admit that I fucked up in a major way. Its not like I'm struggling that much. I'm not a drug addict or in prison, and I don't have a million dollars in child support or anything. But I feel I could've been so much more if I knew what I know now, even the little bit of effort I make comparitively in certain areas that I just couldn't back then may had lead to much greater things with their energy compounded.

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