This post has naughty language.
I had written this post in July four days before I started at the Ritzville Journal. It was a confession of sorts that included me taking a shot at someone who I’ve known for years. Our friends have flaws, sure, but there are things about them where you can say “No, I don’t want to be like you.”
I remember as clear as day. The day I announced I was moving to Wolf Point, he was having the pool table installed in the basement. He wasn’t angry up front, but I could sense he wasn’t thrilled about my decision to leave. It’s kind of like when you’re moving away from home and your cat is pissed at you and knows your leaving. Later he said “well statistics say that 66 percent of graduates don’t use their college degree.” I knew he was full of shit because he never graduated college and his employees, while they had their college degrees, didn’t use them.
That was four years ago. Fast forward to now and this person, who owned a financial services company, was terminated because he did some unethical things involving his coworkers.
You shouldn’t hold anger and bitterness in your heart, but you also know when to leave a toxic environment. And while I have some great memories of us, I know that leaving Spokane was for the best.
I got a little Facebook reminder thing reminding me that it was four years ago when I left for Wolf Point Montana for what would turn out to be a cup of coffee.
Fast forward to now and I’m about to make a similar move to Ritzville. This has stirred some different thoughts that will come out this post.
First off, I’m blessed/fortunate/(insert other word) to be able to still be employed in a field where I get to use my degree. I’ve never had anyone say – to my face anyways – that I was doing was a waste of time or my favorite line “you know journalism is dying right.?”
The closest came when I was about to leave for Montana and someone said “Well statistics say that 66 percent of people don’t use their degree.” People don’t always understand the path you choose and that’s fine. But you shouldn’t let someone try and talk you out of your goals or shame you for taking a risk, especially if you know they’re full of shit and have no idea what they’re talking about.
I’ve known people in business – mostly younger people – who looked down one someone because they were going down a different path than them. I understand, college isn’t for everyone – I’ve learned this the hard way. After finishing college and starting in journalism, I looked down people who were still working at the Arches – mainly the people who had goals and didn’t pursue them but instead took a manager’s position. For that I apologize, it was my stupid arrogance.
What’s really important is pursuing a goal that makes your life better and happy, whether it’s becoming a millionaire, owning a modest home or just achieving your dreams. Sometimes it takes years for that to happen. Like many memes, I saw friends who were graduating college, getting married and having kids. You’re happy for them, but you want those same things but you’re making excuses as to why you haven’t started laying the foundation for things to happen. I’m glad to at least have checked one of those off the list.
At that IPW show, I met one wrestler, Holidead, who has been wrestling for a few years and has gone to different indy promotions across the country. I got an 8×10 of her autographed but our exchange was short, there were several little girls who wanted to meet her. I wanted to chat with her and ask how she got started, who her influences are and her goals. I also wondered how many people told her – and the other wrestlers who performed – “don’t do that, you’ll fail.”
That reminds me of one guy who said I should “take drugs and work at McDonalds for 10 years” instead of writing. I later learned that he had a full-ride to a school but didn’t attend because he didn’t want to fail. Then I understood a little bit more about him. You can acknowledge failure as a possibly, but you shouldn’t let that stop you. If you’re afraid to fail, then you’ll never try. The people who will tell you that you will fail, have failed themselves and stopped trying.
If it takes longer for you to complete your goals, that’s fine. Keep working at them. If you find something else that is your passion, that’s great too. Just keep chugging along.