The Mistake of Getting an Education

“The teacher is the one who gets the most out of the lessons, and the true teacher is the learner.“
~ Elbert Hubbard

There’s a sore spot in my heart whenever I get asked about whether or not I went to college; and, if so, what it was that I studied. Why am I so tight-lipped about it? What hurts the most when comes time for me to talk about my credentials and my educators?

I have an entire database of stories, spanning from the guidance counselor sit downs in my slaughterhouse of a high school to the sales pitches my parents and I got from my soon-to-be higher education leaders. My brain replays them enough already. I don’t really think I can do them justice by retelling them to you now, but I can tell what I have learned as result of experiencing them firsthand.

This post right here is one I struggled to write. It was one of those posts that could have easily morphed into 3 or 4 additional ones. I reflected on past jobs, on the tools I have used to support the work I do, on the feats I have accomplished, on the collaborations I participated in. Everything seemed to point fingers back to square one, the points in my life when I was learning what I know now, and sometimes what I take for granted.

It’s hard not to think about life without paying dues to the building blocks that such a life has been built upon, no matter how sturdy or fallible they are underneath.

Unfortunately for me, there was a lot I had to learn the hard way, the less than proper way. I wasn’t taught about how shitty and confusing the global economic system is. I wasn’t taught about the science, art, and game of managing a personal financial strategy. I just wasn’t taught that…oh, but I spent many hours completing unnecessary tests, paperwork, and payment forms to make sure I would be a good, obedient, smart little girl.

{Recommended Reading: When You’ve Fallen and You Can’t Get Up}

These days, I find myself teetering to keep my balance on a more spiritual plane from which I still want to navigate the physical world, but I struggle when I see how wrought it is with self-help propaganda and shady marketing tactics left and right. Yet, like you’re probably saying, I gotta pay the bills.

What my developing, child mind didn’t know at the time was that I was part of a very broken and stubborn system that was mass producing grown up children that would inevitably cycle back into society, forever bound by the slavery of debt and desire.

I’m not afraid to say it: higher education banks on the hopes and dreams of the world changers, the dreamers, the artists, the free spirits.

They don’t really care about us. All I really wanna say is that.

It wasn’t until I graduated college that I realized how much of that information I could have obtained for 5% of the investment, let alone free. It’s a bittersweet…symphony. It’s part of my life, though, and my karma too (I reckon). Although, sometimes, it’s hard to stomach that when I reminisce about the emotional abuse of teachers who hated their jobs and professors who displayed remarkable favoritism and classes.

It still traumatizes me that among those same toxic educators, there was one in particular who forced me and the class to watch videos of people being shot in the head. Yes, it definitely had something to with the Holocaust. Damn, like, ‘Let’s lop on heaping pile of reality with some depression on top,’ said no emotionally intelligent educator ever.

Sometime down the line in my liberal arts education, one of my art classes started the film, Melancholia. Fortunately for me, at the time, I didn’t make it to this final scene here:

It didn’t take much to depress me or many of my peers…Was this a metaphor, another world smashing our earth into smithereens?

It was about early 2012 when this movie first came onto my radar, but I didn’t get around to seeing that final scene until October of 2014. Was it because I had seen enough death by that point? Was it because, for once, I just wanted to focus on one lofty, worldly goal of making a living and getting a goddamn A+?

By some divine course of intervention, as my fears subside, I’m finding it easy to return to my balancing point. I remember that I decide, I live free, and–ultimately–I die. There’s something so relieving about the great equalizer because it’s mysterious, scary, and beautiful all at once, making the human soul more prone to find meaning and purpose through something so simple, so miraculous: being alive.

We’re alive in this very moment. You’re reading this, you’re alive. You have a sound mind enough to take this in, relish in it, feel the challenges of your mistakes and the whiplash of mistakes imposed upon you by others. Furthermore, you can remember that they die too.

That’s my final scene…so what did you learn from this?

***

Continue living (and learning) an inspired life

P.S. Come join the discussions happening over at The ILMC Network Facebook group. If you find yourself feeling a bit discouraged, I urge you to express yourself. There’s a lot to uncover, a lot of opportunity awaiting you when you face the fears and the darkness–that’s where your creative spirit is tapping into its change-making potential. See you soon!

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4 thoughts on “The Mistake of Getting an Education

  1. I have too many thoughts for one thread; it’ll turn into a post lol. However, I think higher education is something that you come to terms with. Over time you realize what works for you and what doesn’t.

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