There are many forms of courage …
And today as I sat down and read “Would you like fries with that?” written by my oldest daughter Samantha I was reminded once again of the courage she has shown throughout her life as she faced bullying and followed her own path.
Samantha, you are an incredibly brave, caring, talented and special person who I love dearly with all my heart.
You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.
~ Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
With Sammy’s permission here is her post Would you like fries with that? …
“Oh” they say. That’s what they all say. “Oh, that’s nice.” That phrase makes me feel everything BUT nice. You make me feel stupid, worthless, like why should I even carry on this conversation with you when you already have a picture in your mind of who I am to you?
Yeah at my age, people are getting ready to graduate college. People my age are searching for “real life jobs” that pay salary. They’re about to do “big things” and live life “the way you’re supposed to” (graduate high school, go to college, graduate after 4 years, get a job, etc.) – s/o to Katelyn Gearan though! You go girl!
So what am I doing? To you, it probably looks like I’m a college dropout who now works at a breastaurant. I mean that’s not false, but that’s not the full truth either.
I told my parents back when I was in high school that I didn’t want to go to college. I told them how I never saw myself graduating. I just couldn’t picture it (and I’m pretty good at visualizing things).
It just wasn’t in the cards for me. And quite frankly, I was okay with that.
I didn’t finish college for multiple reasons.
Reason number 1) I won the title of Miss Maine USA 2014 – which in my opinion was a blessing in disguise.
I met the most amazing people throughout my reign, I got to go to Miss USA and compete against 50 other beautiful women on national television. You can’t just pack your suitcase and go, either. That shit takes a lot of dedication, time and it made it very hard to balance with school, ballet, teaching dance classes and work. You only get ONE year to be Miss Maine USA so obviously I was going to make the most of it. School can and will wait. (Oh, a big f*ck you to the teacher who failed me in Yoga and Pilates because I missed too many classes. I missed too many classes because they were on Saturday mornings and I had events to go to. MY BAD. I’m still salty, sorry.)
Reason number 2) My school was basically screwing me (and I’m sure a lot of students) over.
Picture this: I’m picking out all of my classes for the next semester when I see oh look! a required course. Okay let’s search for that required course. Wait, what? Course not found? I must’ve typed it in wrong. Search again and nope. Hmm. Course not available until Spring of 2072?! F*ck that. And I wasn’t going to take some filler-class just so I could get the right amount of credits to be a full-time student to get my financial aid. My school was literally setting me up to be in school for at least 6 years if I didn’t take online classes, summer classes and winter classes. Um. Probably not. (Obviously Spring of 2072 was an exaggeration – btw) Regardless, I got frustrated and on top of that my school was letting professors go left and right so my major was practically falling apart. So I decided to remove myself and follow my real dreams.
Reason 3) I got signed to a modeling agency. I couldn’t be enrolled in school but missing classes to go to go-sees and auditions ( I learned my lesson from failing Yoga and Pilates, ugh.) Even if you don’t get the job, by going to as many auditions as you can, you meet people in the industry, you make connections and even meet new friends with the same interest as you. I sure as hell wasn’t going to let a lecture get in the way of that. People know people and the right people might just be holding the audition you drove two hours to go to. So instead of going to school, I continued to work at a restaurant. (An ice cream shop to be exact.) Somewhere where I could make easy money, fast and still take time off whenever I needed to to go to an event or an audition. Once summer ended though, I had to look for another job.
That’s when I found Tilted Kilt.
Which leads me to reason 4) I’m trying to move out of my parents home. Right now my goal is to work, model and save money to finally fly free from the nest I’ve called “home” for the past 22 years. I’ve never lived on my own before because my university was literally a two minute drive from my house. (Saving money is a theme here if you couldn’t tell.)
And can I just tell you something? I’ve never been happier since leaving school. It was one of the bravest things I’ve done (besides strut my stuff on stage at Miss USA in front of millions of people on live TV… but..) My schedule is created by me, I’m not in debt up to my eyeballs, I’m focused and to be honest I’m the least stressed I’ve ever been. I get to do what I love (travel, model, work, paint, create, eat) whenever I want to. I have no ties to my town/state. Some people just aren’t made for school and I’m 200% one of those people. I learn by doing, not by listening in a lecture hall. But sometimes when people like you make the comment, “Oh, that’s nice.” I doubt myself. Did I make the right decision or not? But then I remember..
Every morning I wake up and I remember that it’s my life, it’s now or never, I ain’t gonna live forever. Thanks Bon Jovi for the inspo. I’m just saying that we were put here on this earth to do more than go to school, pay bills and die. I’ve learned more about myself since being out of school. I’ve learned more about people and about life. I found my passion and I’m living life the way I want. It’s my story, I’m writing the chapters in my design. So when you say “Oh, you’re not in school?” “Oh, you’re not a doctor?” “Oh, you’re just working at a restaurant while you wait for your next audition?” just know it hurts my feelings. Yeah I’m not in school and no I’m not a doctor, I’m an artist. But that doesn’t make me any less valuable of a person. So instead of saying, “Oh” with a disappointed undertone, maybe think to yourself, “Wow that girl has guts for breaking away from the norm. She’s chasing her dreams and isn’t afraid to admit it.”
Now I’m not saying everyone drop out of school.. I just hope that somehow, I inspire people to go for their dreams. And it doesn’t have to be in the way that we are taught to do things. There’s no book and there’s no correct order. I tweeted the other day, “Don’t be afraid to go for it. Your dreams, the boy, that outfit. Just do it.” Probably one of the truest things I’ve tweeted in awhile. #Inspiration #BeBrave
PS – People love to hear What’s up? What’s next? What have you been up to? Well, recently I got to be a bride for a day for a styled shoot on the rocky coast of Plymouth …
… then earlier this week I was on set for over 10 hours filming a movie, I get confirmation this weekend if I made the 2017 Kilt Girl Calendar (thanks everyone for voting your hearts out!!) and next week I’m filming a music video (and I was cast as the leading lady.) So yeah, when I’m not at work, I’m doing shit with my life.
Would you like fries with that?