There’s this one quote that has stood out in my mind since reading The Subtle Art and its one spoken by Freud…
One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
It is beautiful and I found myself repeatedly going back to the page to read it.
I have found myself at a few difficult junctions over the years. I remember once I was coming up to my final year of university and I considered dropping out. I was struggling with my finances, I was working fourteen hour night shifts and had a full on uni schedule, I just wondered what the point of it all was. It all seemed so unfair, most of my fellow students seemed to have parents who would cover their rent and buy their cars, I didn’t have that backup. When I look back now I genuinely appreciate the struggle, if i’d not had it I would not have such a respect for the money I now have.
I could probably thank a lot of my High School years for my appreciation of money and the motivation behind my education and career path. Do not get me wrong, I would not go back in time to experience any of my high school years again, I hated it!! There was the bullying, I thought I was fat, I binge ate and threw up and I started with, what I now know to be, a life-long battle with depression. I would go to non-uniform days in my uniform having ‘forgotten’, this because I was too embarrassed by what I would wear. I would throw away the letters about school trips because I did not want to put my mum in an embarrassing and upsetting situation. We did not have much money growing up, there was seven of us in our house squeezed into three bedrooms. Looking back it must have been tough for my parents, five children to feed and working opposing hours, no wonder they separated.
I find it amazing now I look back, how as an adult I could not give a flying fuck if my trainers had two stripes or three, but to my teenage self this was as embarrasing as it is now when I sneeze and pee myself (I have a 2 year old to thank for that).
In retrospect, as Freud said, if my earlier years had not been the way they had, I genuinely do not think I would be where I am today. I knew I had to make something of myself, I knew I had to earn and learn, and to be sensible enough to not end up a teenage mother- believe me that could very easily have happened. I knew even at thirteen that I had to be more sensible than that. I had to make something of myself, I had to achieve something, otherwise, what was I going to do? What was I going to become? So I spent my high school years working where I could, a handful of paper rounds each week and a meat packing factory at weekends, I avoided getting pregnant and I set off to college.