FIVE IN THE STREET: HOW TO PLAY LIFE WITH HAND YOU’RE DEALT

cards, chance, deck

“Just because you were born at the bottom, doesn’t mean you have to stay at the bottom.”


For myself, as with many like myself, I am starting my life from humble beginnings. And when I say humble beginnings, I mean growing up poor. My mother is what you would call the working poor. Where one missed day of work, one sick day could have placed her, my two sisters, and myself in a homeless shelter, or worse in the street. But does that mean our lives have to stay that way? No, it does not. Because living in America, we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. My two siblings are currently steadfast in their careers, and am actively pursuing my own path in life. So if you’ve been dealt a bad hand, how do you win with that hand?

Well, for starters, it comes by way of education. At a young age, my mother started to invest in our education. And when I say invest, she didn’t have money set aside for us as children. But she did make sure that the schools we went to were good enough and safe enough. She waited in lines to enroll us in school. She didn’t sleep in the bed and not make an effort to get us into a good school. She made it her mission, at times sacrificing her own well-being. Even though we were in public school, with my oldest sister attending private in high school, the schools were decent. The school wasn’t a place where all the kids were focused on being cool kids. You were encouraged to expand your mind past how you were being perceived by your peers. So you were able to focus on your education.

So now that education was taken care of, my mother cultivated a household where our minds could grow. At a young age she would take us to the library where we took part in various activities: reading, writing, and putting together puzzles (which was an activity I loved). We even had times on Friday nights when she would have long conversations with us about life. Little did I know those conversations and those weekend trips to the library were getting us prepared to deal in life. It taught me patients, hard work, persistence, and dedication. In addition, I also have to not forget those trips to the zoo and museums, where we were encouraged to have an open mind to many different cultures and experiences.

So now that my sisters and myself are adults we can pursue our own endeavors with the confidence needed up to this point to succeed. So what does all this have to do with winning with a bad hand; well, a lot. Everything that I was taught growing up, in combination with my own cultivated intellect, we have always been able to prosper. Now, everyone did not grow up in a household where their talents were nurtured. Some people have some very tough lives that are far beyond my life. But understand, that your story and my story is not unique. There is always someone that looks like you, and have come from where you have come from to succeed. So in the end, there is always going to be people dealt a bad hand. Some will overcome their struggle and others won’t. Sadly enough, that’s just some of the outcomes of life.


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YOUR LIFE, YOUR PATH: HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR WAY THROUGH ADULTHOOD

Man Standing on Brown Rocking Mountain Under Blue Sky and Yellow Sunlight

“Navigating life can be so tough.”


Living in real time, becoming an adult is seen as such a stretch in life when you’re a young kid. I still remember the days when my mother would walk in the house from work. I would be sitting in front of the television as she walked through the door. She’d head straight into the bathroom and get changed into her joggers andWoman in White Shirt Sleeping on Gray Fabric Sofa t-shirt. Coming back into the living room, she’d sit onto the couch and start to watch television as well. In that space and time, I knew my day would come to embark on my own journey in life. Yet at the time, I didn’t seem to quite know where that journey would lead. I just knew after age eighteen I would be out into the world.

 

 

Upon leaving high school, I went off to undergraduate school out of state, then transferring back home at the end of the first semester. After returning back home, I still didn’t quite know what I wanted to do in life, yet the timeachievement, cap, celebration was still ticking. My senior year was approaching and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. But, I did have plans of going off to graduate school after undergrad. And then, May of 2011 was the year I would graduate college. I walked across that stage just as my two sisters had done in the past. And it would be just a few months later that I would be moving on. Moving out to New York City to attend graduate school for my MBA.

Now, did I really want to go off and work for an organization. Not really, so why did I attend graduate school for my Masters Degree? Well, coming out of undergrad, I started to write my very first screenplay. It was entitled, “Wood Road,” and would later be changed to “Retribution.” Not realizing Image result for screenplayhow hard it would be to write, it took me two and a half years to complete. Why, well for starters I didn’t attend film school. And second, I was so discouraged, I quit the first time writing for about one and half years. I just didn’t think I was good enough. Yet, I kept coming back to the script, time and time again. My mind could not focus, unless I was thinking about the script. Then I came back to the script, and finished it.

As I was writing the script, I started to write down all these ideas I had for screenplays. And the more I wrote, the more I realized this is what I wanted Railroad Tracks in Cityto do in life. So at the age of 24 years going on 25, I made the conscious decision to pursue a career as a screenwriter/filmmaker. And here is where
the path to success becomes quite murky. Because as a writer, there is no real path to take in life. It’s not like leaving med school, taking up a residency at a hospital. Or leaving law school getting recruited into a firm. There is no real time limit, nor a real guarantee of it working. All I knew is that I was new to this, don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I like it.

And from that point of liking it, I continued to write. Even writing and shooting my first short film, self-publishing two books, and starting a blog site. At an age where a lot of people are hanging on weekends at the club or Asphalt Road Near Trees Under White Sky at Daytimefocusing on a monogamous relationships, I am producing film, writing my books, and contributing to a blog. What’s tough is that who knows if I’ll succeed. And that is the scary part. No one wants to work toward something just for it blow up in the their faces. We work hard with the hopes of things panning out. And as much as you’re taught that your best may not be good enough, it still doesn’t sink into the mind. Not until you actually fail.

And in the end, that’s the hardest part about life, is the failure. The majority of people go to work, get their checks every two weeks, and live like this for life until retirement. Yet when you step outside that box and try something, you don’t want to be the one people laugh at for failing. You don’t want to Person Doing Cliff Diving during Daytimebe the one people said I told you so. What’s funny is that sometimes those people as well as others secretly wish they were you at times. Throwing yourself off a cliff; taking that leap of faith. But the way I see it, it’s better to jump and see what happens, than to never jump and wonder what could have been.


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MY MONEY, MY RULES: HOW PARENTS USE FINANCES TO DICTATE THEIR CHILDREN’S FUTURE

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“Are you a hostage to your parent’s wallet?”

Do you or someone you know have a parent that have told them that if you don’t pursue the career endeavor I want, you will not be receiving my financial support? I have heard parents tell this to their children. And the result of not pursuing what I want as a parent is either refusing to support your career choice or some parents have went as far as to kick you out of the will. The push for students having their career path chosen for them is more of a foreign decision than an American one. Yet there are families here in the United States who carry this same ideology. Luckily for me, I didn’t grow up in this sort of household.

You see, for me, my mother always encouraged me to pursue what could not only make me successful, but something that I loved. She not once told me nor my sisters that if we didn’t pursue what she wanted, she would not be there for us. That freedom to know that whatever career endeavor I chose she would be behind me, is what I needed. Yet, I wish more kids had that type of moral support in their lives. So, when I told my mother I wanted to pursue a career as a writer, she was right behind me. But why aren’t more parents behind their children’s plans.

For starters, parents don’t take their children serious. There is a lot of work that must be put into being what you want to be in life. Parents feel they should steer their children in the right direction because their kids can not be taken serious. For instance, a kid tells their parent/s they want to be an archaeologist. Now archaeologist don’t make that much of an income, so you have to really be passionate about being one. Parents look at their children and go, “You’re not serious about this.” And a lot of times they’re right. They know you’re not willing to put in the time and work. So, in order for them to respect you, they must see your progress.

Now, there is another aspect of parenting when it comes to their children choosing their goals in life. And that is that parents don’t want to fund something that is not a good enough return on their investment. Children are an investment and when you put your life into them and they throw it away, it becomes angering. They think to themselves, if I put this much into you, I hope to get this much back for you. Meaning, it can cost $1 million believe it or not to raise a kid from age 0 (at birth) – 25/26 years old when they graduate college in graduate school. So pursuing acting, writing, singing, dance, sculpting, archaeology, etc. that has to do with the arts and/or humanities is seen by parents as a waste of time. They want you to pursue a career in law, business, engineering, or medicine.

In the end, parents want to steer you because they think they know what’s best for you. But in reality, for them to force you into a career field not knowing if you possess a skill or desire is pure selfish. They are stripping you of an even better life. So in my opinion, if you want to go off and create your own future, you have to be willing to disobey your parents. Which is hard because most of us want to do what’s expected of us. But the only way to show your parents you’re serious is to stop receiving their help and build it yourself. Because ultimately, your parents want to respect to you. And nothing is more respectful than building your own future independent of them.