For instance, people who tell me that I should go back to school because "you don't want to work at wal-mart for the rest of your life." True, I don't, but the mindset behind that statement is completely abhorrent to me. The idea that my success can be measured by the amount of money that I make is disgusting. I would be perfectly happy making nothing more than $9 an hour for the rest of my life (and realizing how amazingly lucky I am to live in a country of such wealth) -- in fact, the only reason I would not want to work at Wal-mart for the rest of my life is that I am a gypsy at heart and I cannot stay in one place for too long. I NEED change of environment or I feel stale and dead. And I crave experience. I am so envious of those people who can say, oh yeah, I worked at 50 different jobs over 20 years -- they meet SO MANY people and experience so many mini-cultures. Every workplace has a mini-culture.
Back to the point: I define being successful as having an increasing ability to love and show it. I work for this kind of success: I actually study -- which I never did in school. I have to buy books before reading them because I am always underlining and starring things that resonate truth in me. I take NOTES! for goodness sake. And by my terms, I have been wildly successful in the past few years. I learned how to love completely and then let go -- twice! -- one ending positive and natural, the other negative and destructive, but both very growth-inspiring. My heart has increased in her capacity to love; a few years ago there was only room for about five people, everyone else was near the fringes, whereas NOW I have a heart so large that over 80 people fit well within her. That is amazing to me. I wish so much that I could show you each a picture of how much I love you, because I think it would surprise you. I think very few people actually know how much I love them, and I know that is partly because I am rather bad at showing it. I feel like there is a block holding me back, but I am trying to be patient with myself and have faith that when I am able, I will show it in ways that make you believe. Every little gift you offer me -- an email when I am hurting, for instance, as M-Kat and Nisha did, or two months of paidaccount time, as Rob and Peter did, or a thoughtful loving comment or a note in the mail or a mix CD or a postcard or a letter or wonderful wonderful gifts or simply using an icon I made or mentioning me in a post -- every single thing is a jewel to me, I treasure your gifts and I treasure you. I am so sorry that I don't show it properly but I am growing and healing and I will get better.
Right now, I could go to college, but to afford it, I would have to work as well. That would mean at least two years of my life (I've already had two) where I had very limited time to show any love at all, and the little time I did have would be stressed out. It's just not worth it to me -- two years of drastically decreased growth and positive effect on those I love -- it would be a terrible waste. I am not going back to college unless/until I can do it without working, at a school where I will actually learn and not just get a piece of paper to hang on my wall. I do not care about a degree, I only care about learning, and right now, I can do that much better by not going to school. (I still admire the dedication and hard work of those who DO follow that path, but it is not for me)
I have always felt that I will die early (not too early, but before 50), and that affects my outlook (it doesn't bother me -- I can't remember ever fearing death, I've always just looked forward to heaven. Now I actually appreciate the gift of life though, so I am glad it isn't sooner (in my feelings anyway)). I think of earthly life with a deadline, and there is much that I want to do before I die. Every moment needs to be lived with as much bold love as I can give, and not wasted. I still waste (too much!) time, but my major life choices center around being able to love and show it.