by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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This one is tough to swallow, but you need to understand something…life is not fair.  That is a universal truth that we all learn too late in life.  Some of us are born into abject poverty, like real poverty, like living in a car from time to time, or worse.  Some are born into a rich family, which seems better, but can have circumstances that are just as bad as the previous example.  Some have a parent die young, others are stuck in an abusive situation for a long, long time.  Many have humble beginnings and are faced with the choice of following in the footprints that are already there, or breaking the cycle and doing something bigger and better.  Here is the reality of everyone’s situation:

The sooner you accept responsibility for where you are,

the sooner you can change that.

It is an uncomfortable truth that it does not matter how or why you are where you are, regardless of your circumstance.  The reality is that YOU ARE HERE, and it is your responsibility to change that.  Or not.  You can wallow in the pain and misery of the hand you have been dealt or you can make changes.  The answer is simple, but the execution of that is never be easy.  If you come from a family of wealth, you may be in the shadow of someone who did great things and tried to make your life easy.  That sounds like a great life, but deep down we all need to make our mark in the world, and we know it.  Getting out from the shadow of a family name is not something I am familiar with, but I’ve had friends who have really struggled with this.  A few changed their last names just to help make sure that whey weren’t treated differently, like a privileged rich kid who’s dad got them this job or that opportunity.

I am far more familiar with the humble beginnings story.  I grew up on a small farm in rural PA, my whole world consisted of that fifty acres and the school I went to as a kid.  It was a great place to be a youngster, but that charm was quickly going to where off when I reached my teen years.  My family moved to Phoenix when I was twelve, and I hated the idea of being in the big city for the rest of my life.  I didn’t know a soul, and I was scared all the time.  I figured out early on that I needed to find a way to make my mark, to find my place in the circle of my new environment.  Sports was my best chance to be included in the “tribe” of my new world.  Being a small kid, my options were limited.  I tried baseball, but it was clear that my days on the diamond were not likely to go past Little League.  I turned to wrestling, following in my Dad’s footsteps.  Fate had a different plan for me; a neck injury during a tryout for the high school team as a freshman ended that run abruptly.  I was lost, I didn’t know what to do.

Even then, as a lost freshman wandering the halls of a high school, I knew that I wanted to do something bigger and better than much of my family could claim.  My grandfathers on both sides of the family worked very hard, and both did well for themselves in relative terms.  My parents struggled at times, and it was difficult on the family dynamic.  My Dad is one of those people with a lot of skills but not a specialty that he could ride into financial freedom.  He was willing to try a lot of different things, trying to find his place, but never really hit upon the right thing.  I knew I didn’t want to struggle financially my whole life, as I have seen the toll it takes.  I managed to dig myself into a significant financial hole, and I had a problem to solve at some point.  It took me a long time to get this issue resolved.  I chose to chase my dream of being a Pro Racquetball Player until age thirty, setting me back financially not only during that time but for several years after.  I wracked up a bunch of debt traveling around the country playing tournaments, and it took a while to get out from under that.  In other words, it took a while before I realized that it is up to me to solve my problems.  Of course I would have loved to have been rich, but that wasn’t my fate, so I had to take responsibility for where I was and where I wanted to go.  As an adult, no one comes to rescue you.

Ready to make a change?  It will take calculated action to better your situation.

Got a boss that takes advantage of you? Make a stand; change your circumstances.  Go back to school and get a degree if that will help you.  Have a bad relationship with your significant other?  Go to counseling or at the very least have some tough conversations with your partner to try and straighten things out.  Don’t have time to do things you want to do?  Reprioritize your life and make sure that you are missing birthdays and baseball games and all of the other things you will no doubt regret later on.  It is up to you and only you.  And as a functional adult, you need to be the one who solves your own problems.  I am not saying don’t ask for advice or help along the way, but you need to be the one to change the course of your life.  After all, it is your life to live, so it is your life to build…

I wish you luck in your endeavors.

 

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