Some of my experiences have reminded me that the best time to do something is exactly when you feel it. It’s not when you think you can come up with a perfect moment, it’s not when the circumstances can be more convenient. It is when you get the idea, when you feel excitement in your gut just thinking about it. Because great memories don’t always come by waiting for the perfect moment, it’s making the moment perfect.
It doesn’t matter where we are at in life, if we can afford a smartphone, there is no reason not to extend a hand to the less fortunate. Once we reach the point where we can take care of our own, giving back is a duty, responsibility and obligation. No exceptions.
Looking back at how things have turned out, and observing the younger generations from a different perspective, I’ve come to realize high school popularity isn’t a good thing.
I began thinking of this when my niece, who is in elementary, came up to me to tell me she wasn’t picked for a soccer team because it was only “cool girls”. I wasn’t sure how to react and respond to her comment. All I could say is not to take it personal and that is not that she didn’t get picked because of her lack of skills (she has been playing extracurricular soccer for the last 3 years), but it was because the other girls were closer friends. She responded, I know my friends and I have our own group too.
I was afraid to say something that will make her feel uncool, but I tried to say something that will make her feel better. It gave me some type of relief when she mentioned she didn’t want to be cool, because it’s just drama. I smiled when she told me, “they are fake and they get mad at each other all the time”. Well, isn’t that the truth? She is immensely smart, has a rational personality, and loves to read – things that automatically place her under the too-smart-to-be-cool group. She made several comments that she didn’t care, but I could tell she mentioned it because she was a bit hurt.
All I wanted to say was that school popularity wasn’t a good thing, but I didn’t know how to say it in a way that she will understand or without insinuating she is better than the cool kids. I was able to resist.
I guess there is always a time throughout our school years when we just want to be loved by many. It also happened to me, and got over it by the time I was in high school. Having an introvert personality, I excluded myself from many social gatherings, and it got to the point where I didn’t care for popularity, but I always cared for the attention of people I cared for.
But being in school and seeing how all the cool kids have a million friends, can date any girl, attend all the parties, and participate in several sports – who wouldn’t want to be cool?
Back then you don’t realize that high school popularity isn’t a good thing. It’s not, and it sums up to one word: entitlement.
Popular kids grow up with a sense of entitlement, and they stop trying because they feel they deserve everything without having to work for it. This isn’t my opinion, this is a fact by my experience and by observing other generations. Soon after high school, the popular kids realize that the tons of friends they had were not really friends, and that their ability to play sports peaked in high school. And they can no longer get the person they liked because they moved on to college. They never had to work hard for anything, so they just settle for a minimum wage 8-5 job. No aspirations, no ambition.
It sounds sad, but that is what I’ve noticed with several of the popular kids from my school. I don’t feel any satisfaction by seeing people with so much potential work at a fast-food restaurant – in the contrary, it’s disappointing. I don’t intend to demean people that work at a fast-food restaurant, but that is not something people dream to do when growing up. I worked at several fast food restaurants and in the fields – trust me that shit ain’t fun. Especially if the best you will be is “barely making it”, because you are living paycheck to paycheck.
On the other hand, some of the people that didn’t have much popularity in high school are the ones that seem to be at a better position after school. It also sums up to one word: struggle. There is a struggle when you have to work to get attention, when you have to practice to be good, when you plan out a date to score the person you like.
I am generalizing a lot in this, I know there are a few times that high school popularity has turned out to be good with people, but for the majority of us, not having popularity has turned out to be a lot better.
I know I will deal with this when my son is in school, all I can think now is that the moment he starts feeling popular and entitled I’m going to figure out a way to bring him back to reality.
I found an article online and I thought it was interesting. A nurse recorded the most common regrets of the dying and put her findings into a book called ‘The Top Five Regrets of The Dying.’ Below is the list of each regret.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
For a long time, I’ve lived my life in a way that I have no regrets or missed experiences (Carpe Diem). I hope that the people that know me remember me as a person that did what he wanted, when he wanted.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”
We’ll I don’t know what to say about this one, I’m naturally guilty -it’s in my personality to be ambitious. Perhaps it’s due to my humble beginnings, I do work hard and that will not change. We grew up with limited means, and seeing my single mother work multiple jobs, and ask for loans just to pay rent had a big effect on me. Money is important, and it don’t ever want to be a problem. I don’t have to be rich, but I must live comfortably.
Nonetheless, I do want to spend more time with my family (2 Week Notice ), and I use my family as a reason to work hard. I believe that if I manage to be financially free, I will spend more quality time with my family.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.”
All I can say about this one is I don’t have many friends because I can’t stand the bullshit. But you know, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.”
Ha! I always tell the people that get married, don’t forget about your friends. It seems people get married and they, for whatever reason, think that they can’t have friends anymore. Like your social life is supposed to end all of the sudden. I want my wife to have a social life, and I definitely need some social time with the friends that I have. I value my friendships, and I treat them like family.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
“Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
I am a very happy person, however some of my ambitions sometimes bring disappointments. I don’t see these moments as a bad thing, it is a good moment for reflection. I do have to work on letting the past go and keep moving forward.