When you grow up in a family who has stayed poor for the majority of your life, you realize that you have two choices:
Maintain the status quo or go for the future
I say this because usually, when you grow up in the lower economic brackets, you usually have these choices/thought processes going on:
1.) You work your way through life. You hope that your choices in your life somehow “work out”. School/self-improvement is secondary to what you do to help out your family. Though sometimes this is legitimately needed, you realize that in order to get to higher economic levels of income, you need to – and on a certain level want to concentrate on school but you are constantly being held back by responsibilities and/or past and present priorities. Concentrating on the future is little more than a footnote the majority of the time.
2.) You realize that your future is where it’s at; where the action is going to be. The future is where you’ll end up regardless of you do today, did yesterday or what happened yesterday or today. However you must realize that in order to reach your goals of tomorrow (the higher economic brackets for example), you must realize that you must change. Sacrifice will be a part of this change – but not all of it. Self-improvement will be a big foundation in this change, but past and current responsibilities to the status quo will hinder you. Hinder you to the point of giving up; giving up on your dreams, thus bringing you back to square one…
I am of course talking about myself. I’ve reached a point in my life that where the I feel I have to make a choice: Maintain the status quo of my past, or shoot for my dreams of the future. My dreams, my own dreams. Not those of my mom, or my dad, or my siblings, or my extended family for that matter, but my own.
But these dreams will not come without a cost. A cost? Well that pretty describes most things in life, everything has a cost – the question am I willing – and able – to pay for it? I believe I am, but at the same time it’s a daunting and dare I admit, scary? venture. The status quo that propped up the system that I grew up is comfortable – too comfortable; almost lethargically uncomfortable.
The road to my future is only starting and it’s slow going because of past and present responsibilities – and myself up to a certain point. Aikido, martial arts in general, writing, exercise, debate, among other things are the paths to my future. But damn the torpedoes! If I can’t do any of these things, then I may not have a hopeful future to have!
Those are the keys that will allow me to move up and break away from the years of my upbringing. Where I will end up I do not know. Hopefully however I will have improved myself – as a human being – to the point that when that happens, the future will finally open up to me after years of silence. Will my past and present responsibilities hinder me? I’m hoping they won’t be; hopeful that I am up to the challenge of providing my way through life yet am still able to accomplish my martial life, my rich life (literally and figuratively), my fulfilling life…
And so the next stage of my journey begins. Damn the torpedoes!