"Robert, what do you think? You and I come from nothing. We are poor. My parents only want the best for me. They want me to have a better life than they did. " Jessie asked.
"Jess, as I said, it is your life, not their's. Of course they want you to have a better life than them. So do my parents, but it isn't up to them. You need to remember, it is your decision, and you'll be living with that decision long after they are gone. "
Jessica sat there quietly then said “How do you know all of this?"
"Last year I told my Dad I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I wanted more than anything to be happy because I already knew too many people that chose careers they hated. " Robert paused and looked at Jess. “Then my dad asked me ‘Robert, what do you love doing? What floats your boat?’ I laughed at him and said ‘Floats your boat? What the heck does that mean?'"
Robert and Jessica laughed for a minute.
"Then my dad asked me ‘Robert, tell me what you love doing so much that if you could, you would do it for free?’ So Jess, what do you love doing so much that if you could, you would do it for free?"
Jessica just looked out of the window. Then she said “Work with Josh. I would work with Josh for free. "
Robert smiled and said “There you go then. My work is done here. I am amazing. "
Jessica just smiled.
"Ryan, it isn't about making money right now. Whatever you choose to do or study to do, you aren't going to be making much money doing it for awhile. The money will come - don't chase it. In fact, if you choose to do something primarily for money, you will probably fail at it or least hate it. You will become a slave to your job. But, if you find something you love to do, you will never work a day in your life. And, as you gain more experience, the money will come. "
"I'm not sure I buy that Mr. Greenan. And, I am positive my parents won't. How am I going to tell them that?" Ryan asked.
"First, you need to take some time and decide what that love is that you would do for free. Do you know? Do you have any thoughts?" Greenan asked.
"I love working with my hands. I love anything about working with my hands. I love to make things from wood. I love to fix cars. I even love repairing appliances. " Ryan said excitedly.
"Then, we need to start with that. I suggest you go home and decide what three things you love to do more than anything. Once you do that, we can meet again to discuss what paths are available to you. That ok by you?"
"Yes" Ryan said. “But I have no clue what I am going to tell my parents. "
And Greenan wasn't sure either.
Jessica walked into her house after school. Her mother was in the kitchen working on dinner. As a stay at home mom, Jessica knew her mother would be there when she got home. She was Jessica's rock, and her role model.
She walked up to her mother and said “Hi mommy" and hugged her.
"Mommy? You haven't called me that in a long time. Everything ok?" she asked. The hug wasn't unusual as Jessica and her mother had always been affectionate.
"I'm fine mom. I just feel very good today" She said. Even though she knew she was going to have face her parents very soon with her decision, she felt a tremendous sense of ease and comfort with her it. She knew what she wanted to do with her life.
"Mom, Robert and I were talking about our future today and. . . . " she started to say.
"Robert?!?" her mother interrupted. “You listen to me Jessica. Robert may be part of your high school life, but that boy isn't going to amount to anything. When you go away to college in the fall, you will find a boy there - a nice boy. Nothing like Robert. And, you can't be in a serious relationship anyway if you intend to get good enough grades to get into a good law school. We've talked about this. "
Jessica decided now wasn't the time to debate this. She went upstairs and got changed. She was going to baby sit Josh this afternoon, and felt even more strongly about seeing him. She sat on her bed and wondered what it will be like to spend the rest of her life working with these children that she loved so much, and who showed her so much love.
M. E. Edwards is a career coach, author, speaker entrepreneur and expert on career development at all levels. You can read his musings here, or take a more extensive look at his blog at http://www.directyourcareer.com Or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .