My whole life I was pushed to be great. I wasn’t allowed to get under an 80 on a test or for a GPA unless I showed visible hard work and fell short. My parents were never the type to allow me to settle or to brush off anything involving my education. It was always a punishment if I slacked off but it was also always a really big deal if I shined just the same. It was programmed into my brain from a very early age that I can do anything or be anything I wanted to be as long as I was giving the best of my abilities to whatever it was I decided to do. Failure with effort was an option but failure without even trying wasn’t going to fly.

With this outlook on life I dreamed a lot. I still do to be honest. I wanted to be a policeman, I wanted to be a professional wrestler, I wanted to be a teacher and then when it came to college to work toward what I wanted to be, I decided I wanted to be a journalist; a sports journalist to be exact. I was soaring so high in the ranks of my high school basketball teams covering each game as the master of ceremonies it seemed logical. I had been on TV, I had been known across the entire CHSAA. This plan was absolutely logical and all of my parents’ hard work instilling values and money into me would pay off. They would get to be those parents that age and spend the rest of their time enjoying the fruit of my efforts.

Well plans change.

College ended in the fiery pits of my failing out. The pressure of pleasing my parents became secondary and my social life and lack of desire took a front seat in my actions. My dreams of journalism were deemed delusions of grandeur and I was given the choice to try college again or join the work force.

I chose work.

Once I got the taste of money, I began to enjoy my independence. I was slowly easing away from depending on my parents for material needs and able to take care of myself. The independence was liberating. I no longer agonized about grades, tests, multi-page papers. I was free at last from the pressures I had no desire to take on. I spent my entire life working for every grade I’ve ever earned. As an adult or a work in progress toward that, I wanted to step away from the relentless pressure and struggle and just be free to do me. For a few years it was liberating to be in that position but I found myself lacking a true purpose. My dreams had died with my grades and I was left with a hobby and not a career option. It wasn’t the worst thing considering I was maturing but in my heart of hearts I knew that a little piece of me would miss it.

Now, I fast forward to the year 2014. After months of struggling to find my position in the work force I finally got the job I’m at now. Being involved in the office world was never the plan much less overseeing the kitchens and construction of meetings for a bank investment firm. I never wanted to be the low-man on the totem pole cleaning up behind the multi-millionaire investors but it happened and with that I found my purpose.

My job is not the most glamorous and nine out of ten times I’d love to whoop everyone’s ass in the room but at the end of the day, I’ve found a purpose. I’ve found a way for my parents to benefit in the fruit of my efforts by granting them piece of mind. I may not be able to make them proud with prestigious awards, athletic events, etc. but I am able to make them proud by my growth and my continuous work to be a better me providing for myself and my eventual family.

So dreams may die but hard work lives on. Life isn’t how I planned but it definitely hasn’t left me poor in the sense of reality. I am loved, I am healthy, and I can afford a comfortable life. God is good.