Over the last few months I have had the privilege to meet some truly inspirational and amazing people (you know who you are). It triggered me into thinking about some things.....
Having followed a straight "A" sibling through the educational system (no criticism here Sis I think what you have achieved and what you do is awesome) it was not easy. Being referred to as "your are the sister of...." rather than being called Mandy was frustrating to say the least. The end result was my determination to show that I am an individual. I did not get the best out of the education system and left school with some acceptable school certificates at age 16.
I took the route of learning by doing and there were some employers that were willing to risk taking someone on board that may not have had the correct credentials, but showed an aptitude to learn, motivation and energy.
There are those that adapt to studying and gaining qualifications well, others that need to see the things happening whilst learning through on the job experiences. Whichever route suits you best is the way to take. Its not always the one that others are telling you to do, whether this is coming from family, teachers, friends etc.
As a working single mum there are many challenges that I have faced and am sure there are more to come - bring it on! For me, the encouragement I give to my kids is that they should do what they want, so long as they are not harming others. They should gain their achievements, recognition and rewards from their own efforts, not by using others as a human ladder.
Most importantly, you should be passionate, excited and enjoy what you choose as a career. Whether through the route of higher education or wanting to get out there and experience, there will be bad days and difficult challenges. So long as you continue to love what you do, whatever that is, then you're on the right track.
There are those that think making Big Money is the sign of success. I have never seen an epitaph reading, "she was liked by all because she had loads of money, she leaves behind her a stack of cash". We all want financial stability, not having to worry, but sometimes miss the importance of just spending time with our loved ones. The most rewarding moments in life are often those that cost little or nothing, just some of our time.
So whatever your goals, whether your angling for a minnow or wanting to hook a whale, challenge yourself, push your limits, enjoy the journey and most importantly have great fun whilst doing it. Go for it!