At 44 years old, chances are I have more years behind me then in front of me. I feel no different then I did when I was in my 20s, except that I need more sleep and my weight is getting more difficult to control.
When I was 17, 18, 19,, years old I could eat just about anything I wanted. Now I eat that kind of stuff and my stomach hurts. Eat some greasy chicken nuggets and my stomach gets tore up.
Instead of thinking about what I wanted to do when I grow up, I am thinking about my retirement in 20 years. Its simply amazing how the years creep by unnoticed.
When I look back, I realize how I was totally unprepared to enter the workforce in the mid-1980s. Besides reading, writing and math, the public school system taught no real life skills. Mom and dad were at work, so the time they had to teach life skills was limited.
In my late teens and early 20s I thought the thing to do was to get married and have kids. So do you have kids when you are financially stable, or when you are young and healthy? I picked to have kids when I was young and healthy. Some of the people I went to school with have kids in jr. high, while all but one of mine have finished high school.
I wish society had not lied to me about the value of hard work. Society says if you work hard, that work will be recognized and rewarded. Rewarded with what, a life of poverty?
Working and making money
After I finished high school, I went to work in a welding shop. After all, if you work hard enough, that hard work will be recognized, rewarded and you and you family will be able to afford a nice life.
The truth is, most companies will exploit their employees. Good wages for a good days work? That is laughable.
Those facts of life are hidden from kids. We were told to either go to college, or learn a trade skill. I picked learning a trade so I could enter the workforce and start making money. I wish I would have known how companies limit their wages, and no matter how hard you work, that work will never be rewarded past a certain point.
When I was in high school, what I “really” wanted to do was archaeology. I wanted to dig up ancient civilizations, study the remains and write papers on the discoveries. There is nothing in the school system to foster what young adults want to do. Its either go deep into college debt, or do without.
If higher education was easier to access, society as a whole would be better off.
After high school there was no guidance. The students were kicked to the curve, with a good luck pat on the back and a snicker.
The reality of the issue is, life is horrible, absolutely horrible. A capitalist society is terrible to live in, its either swim or sink. If you sink, you end up homeless with no safety net to recovery.
There is a third option in a capitalist society, and that is treading water. The people who are treading water are neither sinking or swimming, they are barely surviving. Some people get tired of treading water, give up, and sink. Some people finally get the hang of things and start swimming. And some people tread water their entire lives.
To learn how to swim (make money) in a capitalist society most people have to go to a school like harvard or yale. In other words, if you want to learn how to make good money, you have to go to an expensive and elite university. Some people have a knack for swimming . They start their own business and go on to break free of the bonds society would place on them.
Going to a community college does not teach people how to make money. Community colleges teach us how to tread water, and maybe doggy-paddle.
As I get older, the time I spend with my family grows more valuable. My mom, dad and my brother live in Bridge City Texas, which is only about an hour and 15 minute drive from Jasper. It seems there is not enough free time to visit with everyone.
Then there are my two oldest sons that live just south of Woodville Texas. At least once a year we try to do something, such as go camping, go fishing, or go to my parents farm for a clean up day.
My youngest son and my daughter live in Baytown Texas. As they have gotten older, I get to spend less and less time with them. Their friends and jobs leave them little time for me.
With everyone I went to school with, I only stay in touch with a few of them, and that is a shame.
At the 25 year class of 1986 Bridge City High school reunion, a guy I went to school with and I talked about how tough the teenage years were. Going from jr. high to high school, hormones kicking in,,, the teenage years are a rough time.
Some of the people I went to school with seemed to handle school, after school activities, hormones,,, just fine. While some people it seemed to have a profound effect on.
Hind sight is usually 20-20. As I look back at my teenage years there is a lot I wish I would have done differently.
I goofed off a lot in school, would I have done that differently? Probably not. I have yet to use algebra in my everyday life. Some of the stuff that was forced upon me at school, seemed stupid at the time, and 25 years later it still seems stupid.
I have come to the conclusion that a lot of the stuff that is forced upon students in middle school and high school is just pure stupid. Why should I be forced to learn stuff that I will never use in real life? To make me a better educated person? If the schools want a well rounded education populace, teach people stuff they need and want to learn.
The “want to learn” is an issue that is almost never talked about. My interest are in history. Why should I be forced to learn higher math? Does the school believe students are going to excel in something they do not enjoy?