This morning I notice my personal Facebook feed is full of well-wishing parents keeping everything crossed for their teenagers exam results today. Many of those teenagers are on edge while they wait, nervous for the outcome and desperate not to disappoint. So I have a message for all parents and teenagers who are anxiously waiting on said exam results.
I grew up with a vision that I would be a successful career women, I quite fancied the idea of working with children - maybe teaching - I wasn't really fussed if I worked for myself or for a huge corporate company, or as a teacher in a school but I was going to follow in the path of my grandparents. My career choice would earn me a mint, I would work up the ladder putting in all the hours god sent to have a good way of life.
I distinctly remember my dad telling me "I want you to do better than me", not getting to my 30's or 40's wondering where my life had gone and feeling like I've not achieved anything. My mum would tell me if you want to make it in this world, like really make it you need to get good exam results and go to university (although the idea of me leaving to live in halls she just didn't like) and my maternal grandparents would tell me the only way to make any real money is to work for yourself.
Despite my vision I wouldn't work hard at school, I was clever but lazy, and anyway I had a burning desire to meet 'the one', be married, settle down and have a family of my own. To be someone's wife and to be a mum was my only true dream.
So when it came to exam time why was I so pent up on the results?
Playing the cards you've been dealt
Having not put in the work I left school with only one GCSE, my parents were disappointed but loved me nonetheless. I wasn't gobsmacked nor was I jealous of class mates who had better results. I would just go to college to resit - simples!
I didn't let the results define me. It wasn't the end of said career. I played the cards I'd been dealt and found a Plan B.
I worked part time in a shop and went back to college.
At college I achieved the GCSEs I needed. Somehow! I'm not sure how, because once again I didn't work hard. I wasn't entirely interested in it all to be honest but nevertheless I went on to do a Childcare and Education Diploma. I was doing well, it was a subject that I loved but I didn't finish it.
I had met someone and knew he was 'the one'. I was just 17 but I loved him and college was a nightmare. I was having a hard time, socially and emotionally (which is a story for another day) so I left.
Much to my families despair I called time.
I started work full-time and settled down with the guy I had met. Our relationship was frowned upon at the start but I knew he was the one so we fought and fought. It was a real struggle, a real test on our strength as individuals and as a couple but eventually we proved everyone wrong. I left home at 18, we started a family when I was 19, we became homeowners and got married when I was 24 and we had our fourth child when I was 25. All the while we were both working full-time, me in between maternity leave, to provide for our growing family.
Now I am a stay-at-home-mum, a housewife, who is financially supported fully by my husband and after 3 ish years of this lifestyle I am waiting for my certificate to arrive that will allow me to practice as a childminder.
My dream of working with children still very much in the pipeline. Only the path I took is just different to the one my parents and society had planned out for me.
Remember at the beginning of this post I said I had a burning desire to be married, settle down and have a family of my own...
Well that's exactly what I achieved!
As well as a career in working with children which I cannot wait to get started on.
Now before parents reading this shoot me down, my point is NOT that you should quit your studies and run off with your teenage crush but instead IS if you truly want something, if you have that burning desire, deep down in the pit of your stomach, whatever it may be, you WILL find a way.
Your exam results DO NOT define you.
Find your Plan B and run with it, just as I have. Play the cards you've been dealt to the best of your ability and all will work out.
Whatever your dream is I wish you the best of luck and remember never give up on what it is YOU want.
Love to all xx
Feature Image - Source: Google Images.