When I came to FL back in 2004 I hated this place. I couldn’t stand the perky ass Floridians who always felt the need to say “Hi, how are you?” They were so annoying and ready to come over with their ridiculous chatter as if you had been friends forever. In NY, if you looked at someone they were ready to ask you ” What the fuck you looking at?!”
I was pretty depressed; coming to FL with my family wasn’t the problem. It was just too much of a culture shock. I never did well with change. Once my boyfriend got over here, and I learned to drive, and got to school it was a lot better, but still I had such a bad attitude about living here. I couldn’t wait for the day when I would be able to move back. Even when I went to class, I couldn’t stand being there. College wasn’t anything like I imagined either. Remarkably though I made two friends both guys. Steven and Kevin…different classes but they were my buddies. Steven was a white island dude from Bermuda, he was sweet, funny as hell, but he liked to fuck around too much.
Everyday we’d meet up for coffee to do our work together and never get anything done because he thought we could just sit outside by the lake and talk about bullshit and about our lives. Kevin was the opposite; he was a focused black guy trying to get his degree in gaming software. He called me “Dre” and we used to chat all the time, work on projects. Somehow lines got confused with both of these guys and now they were thinking they could ask me out even though they knew I had a boyfriend. There both friendships ended, and I was; back to being depressed because I had no friends, until I got a job.
I never made any new friends after Steven and Kevin, until I saw a girl who I knew from H.S. and we were close since. Other than her and one more guy from my hometown (another day another time about him, it didn’t end well with his ass either) I didn’t make any other close friends in the next four years. I was so focused on how I’d make money back then so I could be on my own and pay my bills. I was taking 15-18 credits a semester, working part time at the college, taking the mortgage brokers course, while my boyfriend did the real estate broker course, so we could “make it” together. No surprise there that we didn’t make it because the housing market took a steady dip that year.
I worked as a nanny while waiting for my big break at the mortgage company at one point as well even though it didn’t last long. My friend who I knew from NY used to say to me every afternoon as I was leaving to the mortgage company; “You’re going to do big things boo!” I would laugh as usual, but now looking back, it feels like I didn’t do shit. What was my goal back then other than to make money to live on my own…? Oh yeah, I wanted to finish my BA in psychology, get married, and have babies. Well then in that case, I did what I wanted to do. The career was supposed to fit in there somewhere, but never figured itself out until recently when we started our own web and software company. Being a SAHM is not enough for me. There’s more I want to accomplish, because I need more personal satisfaction than just taking care of kids for the rest of my life, and I’m gonna get there. If you have someplace you’re trying to go:
- Get a notebook, like one dedicated to your self-discovery and jot down all your thoughts, ideas, passions, talents, strengths and weaknesses.
- Write down your goal. For an examples in this list let’s use: I want to become a nurse.
- Ask yourself, is this realistic and specific? Yes…it’s not like saying “I’m going to work with people”.
- What is it going to take? People we have the fucking internet…use the goddamn thing, stop watching porn. Nobody’s asking you to take a trip to the library and use encyclopedias. You can easily Google: “How to become a nurse” in your state.
- Now that you know what it takes, make mini goals. Get your ass back on the internet, research what schools are around you, options you have for night/online classes, tuition and fees, and government funded help like financial aid.
- ACT NOW! Make a deadline for this goal. A goal is just a dream without a deadline. Don’t wait for doubt to cloud your judgment, get back on the freakin’ computer and do an online application.
- There, you completed 3 tasks from the chair you’re sitting in. Now, make a commitment…you will not withdraw from classes for any reason, you will complete your classes doing the best you can. Again mini goals, ex. I will attend my classes, and study religiously. I will finish this paper due tomorrow.
- Stop making excuses and blaming others for your shortcomings. You don’t get to be jealous of others either if you’re not getting off your ass to do something. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you as well.
- If you fall off the wagon, get the fuck back on, you’re this much closer to your goal!
- Pray when it gets tough, pray for strength, and don’t self-sabotage. Make better choices like choosing to stay in this weekend so you can do better on the upcoming exam on Monday. Do your best and God will handle the rest.
Florida turned out to be a damned good thing for me, despite my bad attitude and bad start. It made me grow, it made me wise, and in the end I believe it made me stronger. Sure I could have kept bitching and complaining about how I hate it here, how I didn’t have many friends, I didn’t know how to drive etc. but instead I focused on the bigger picture. Times I felt like quitting school, and just becoming a bartender I stayed positive, because that wasn’t what I wanted for myself. I never ever imagined being right where I am now, but I stuck with the plan.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” – Joseph Campbell