- He was a junior in college and dropped out.
- He tried to get a job from the time he entered college, never getting a real one that he could hold down. He finally got a job at a gas station near his Terre Haute house. He missed the first day and was fired.
- He doesn't have a job now. He plans to look for one in Marshall--but the job market is slim, and without an education, there isn't much for him.
- He is living with his sister's boyfriend in an apartment. Clearly he is not paying rent.
- He is smoking pot regularly--with money he can't afford to spend; with money he didn't spend on school. He plans on buying his childhood home--which will put him in debt. But he was morally opposed to the debt school put him in. Life is full of debt. It's inescapable.
Perhaps I just measure success differently than he does. Perhaps I see success as getting an education. As getting a job in a field of your study that you're interested in and care about. As making your voice heard. As being a good role model to children. I measure those things that I do at Waycross as success. I measure my current job as success. I measure the hard work I'm putting into this degree as success. And sometimes I get sad. I do. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed I feel like I'll never get out. I do. But I'm smart enough to know that so does everyone else. And we're all in this together. When Shannon had a ton to do last week, I sat with her in the library and entertained myself. And as I study for my big German exam, she is designing her Halloween costume right beside me. German is hard. But when I get those grades back, I'm proud of myself. I work my ass off and I see something for it. That is success to me.
So. Maybe that's just me. I'd say it's most people, honestly. But Kyle isn't most people. He's never going to be. He's more concerned with the way things should be than the way they are. He's gets so lost in his thoughts that he can't see what's in front of them. He is an extremist. He is so opposed to our societal structure that he's just opted out of it. But you can't ever really opt out of it. You still have to pay for your food. You still have to wear clothes when it's cold. You still have to pay for a house.You still have to pay taxes. You still have to pay for the gas to meet those you love (assuming you have a car).
The rules don't change. You can't get out of those things. All you can legitimately opt out of is a job that requires an education. You still have to pay to feed your drug habit. Money has to come from somewhere. Now it will just come from a job that doesn't involve writing, or thinking, or relationships, or art, and will start off at minimum wage. But again. Maybe that's what he wants. Maybe he's okay with getting a fast food job and writing blog posts. If that makes him happy, then so be it. It's just not what I'd expected from him. I saw a different path for him. But it's not my story to write.
There are times that I've wished I could just ditch these rigid structures of school. job. family. house... I understand that feeling. But school is my favorite part of all that. I like the discussions I have in classes. I like what I'm learning. There will be classes I don't like--but you can't always get what you want. I love school. I'd love to live more freely--but I'll make that happen. I'm going to create a kind of happiness and freedom in my life based on those things that I learn on this campus. I'm figuring out with the people here what my options are--how I can turn the things I love into a career. And I can't wait. I can't wait to graduate and find a grad school. I can't wait to figure out what I'm going to do. I can't wait to travel and see the world. ISU is practically PAYING me to do it!
I measure success as trial and triumph. I think in a phrase, that's how I'd describe it. Trial and Triumph. I want to know how y'all define success. Comment me, bitches. :)
Also: These pictures don't have a lot to do with the rest of the post. I know. But they were hysterical, and even a moderate connection was worth sharing them.