Damn straight, Mark Twain

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I found this quote posted on my friend’s blog. I think that Mark Twain said it exactly right. I’ve been going through a tremendously stressful mental period for the past 9 months. I moved here to DC too quickly. After interviewing for my first position at this same organization and not getting it, I didn’t think I stood much of a chance of getting this one either. My interview was Meh. I had less than a week to move.

I’ve spent most of my life thinking of things that I want to do and along the way, there have been countless people telling me that it just isn’t possible. Starting with my incredibly awesome guidance counselor in high school. I remember that my best friend and I got the same SAT score, and I had a much higher GPA/Class rank. We both had individual meetings with him. He told me that I would be lucky if I could get into Edinboro and get a scholarship and that I really didn’t have many other options (I was 9th in my class). My friend went into her meeting, class rank of 15 or something, and was told that she could get in anywhere she wanted. She went to Edinboro. I got into Pitt main. For engineering. BAM.

I think that was one of the first instances of me showing haters that I wasn’t a waste and could do things even though people expected me to fail. I made it through chemical engineering, studied abroad twice, and finished 3 years of language courses – all of which I was told probably wouldn’t happen. Couldn’t happen. People told me I could never get a job in international education. Six months after graduation, here I am in DC working at an international education organization and some of those people that told me I couldn’t do it? Unemployed. Living at home.

I don’t know the individual drive behind people belittling the ideas and motivations of others. I mean, good, solid, advice is very much appreciated. It’s good to hear the prospective of someone else especially if they made a change similar to the one that you are contemplating. But some just tell you that its not possible or that it’s a stupid idea.

Well to all of those who haven’t stood behind someone’s decision (unless it is self destructive), just stop. What you need to remember is that they aren’t you. What will work for them and make them happy with not always be, or even be close to, what works for you. We’re all different and we’re not all on the same path in life. Because they have different ideas than you, that is no reason to attempt to deter them from making a decision that they feel is right like moving to a new city, or quitting your job. It may not be what you would do for yourself, but this decision isn’t about you. Before you say something, stop and ask yourself:  Am I saying this because I have something constructive to contribute to this conversation? Or am I saying this because I’m actually jealous that they have the guts to up and do whatever it is they are planning? If it is the latter, keep your negative thoughts to yourself. The decision that this person is making may appear easy to them on the outside, but from experience, it is an internal stressful struggle and they need your support.

Take a look at some of the greatest achievers. Very rarely do they deter someone from following your heart. They are all full of encouragement. Why? Because as they struggled to make it to where they are, they remember the encouraging thoughts of those supportive of their endeavors. They want you to feel success and happiness like they themselves have.

So listen to them. Don’t listen to your peers that are just angry they haven’t done what they’ve always wanted to do in life.


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