None of us can control how we come into this world. The argument could be made from a statistical standpoint that being born in a western country like the United States is like winning the lottery. With 7 Billion people on this planet and 300 Million people in the US, you have about a 4% chance of being born in this awesome country.
So, on the one hand you could say that I won the lottery in some regards. I didn’t have any say in the matter, but I am grateful that I was born here than in some other country where life could have been much harder.
But then on the other hand you could say I was dealt a pretty crap hand…at least initially.
I haven’t shared much of my early story here on this blog. But I recently had the opportunity to share my story with Even Steven on his blog, where I talked about the following:
- I grew up with drug addict parents.
- My father has spent at least 10 years of his life in prison for the manufacturing and distribution of drugs (Think Breaking Bad, but without the cancer)
- We paid for food with food stamps. My mom lied about not knowing who my father was so that she could collect welfare (so that she could have money without working).
- I slept on the floor in my grandmothers 2 bedroom apartment, where 7 sometimes 8 of us were living.
- Neither of my parents finished high school.
- Early on in my youth I was a liar, a cheat, and a thief.
As you will read, I wasn’t born into the best family. But I was able to turn my life around. I was Lucky enough to have some great mentors enter my life and they opened up my eyes to what was possible.
Like in poker my mentors taught me that you don’t have to play the hand your dealt. You have the CHOICE to ask for new cards.
Go check out the full story over at Even Steven Money.
– Gen Y Finance Guy
Looks like you already had quite a life. A good thing that statistics are wrong some day.
Keep on making the right choices and you will have freedom soon.
Life has been full of stories AmberTree.
It’s funny because 80% of all statistics are made up, including the one I just typed…LOL
Yes, statistics only describe what has happened based on historical events, they are not a guarantee of the future.
We are lucky to have Free Will and with that the ability to choose the paths of our lives.
We had similar backgrounds, however my mom divorced my dad when I was around two and a couple of years later we moved to Houston. I still visited him every summer until I was around thirteen years old. Eventually I decided to stop going back to Chicago and even though I only saw my dad once from age 13 to when he died when I was 26 I am glad I was no longer exposed to a depressing, drug exposed, welfare bound lifestyle.
I am not proud to admit it, but I became pretty adept at petty larceny when I was a kid. By the time I turned 10 or so, I was elevated into K classes (Honors) and the group of kids and teachers really helped me focus on improving my life choices. There were still many hurdles to overcome, but luckily the damage was minimized before I went down a dangerous and potential irreversible path.
While I try not to dwell on “dead yesterdays and unborn tomorrows” I do reflect back occasionally and have since learned that I carry no regrets about the way I was raised or the hurdles that I faced.
Thanks for sharing MDP.
I am totally with you with having no regrets from how I entered this world. It has made life an interesting journey.
At the end of the day we are shaped by the sum of all of our experiences. I might not be as ambitious if I were born into a more privileged and affluent family.
Glad to here you found your path to success and fulfillment.
It’s weird because I was talking about this just last night with a friend. I didn’t have the best start and he had a much worse one than I did, yet through all this we’ve managed to come good and make our way in life. I try never to write anyone off because of background. You can’t change your past but you can sure as hell change where you’re going. Hope things continue to go well for you!
So true Adam.
We all have a choice on where we go in life. Happy to hear that you and your friend are doing well despite how you entered the world.
I just read your interview over at Even Steven Money. I am blown away. I admire you for you did not let unfair and bottom of the barrel circumstances did dictate the rest of your life. It is astonishing that you have been able to create a fulfilling life by the encouragement of strong mentors. To me, you are already living your life by design. Thank you for sharing your story. It takes courage to highlight the vulnerable events that brought you to where you are now. Thank you for also encouraging others that they can make choices to lead the life they envision.
Thanks for the kind words Alyssa.
I share my story in hope that I can inspire and motivate others no matter where they are in life.
I truly believe that anything is possible when take control of your destiny. Don’t let the circumstances or shortcomings you were dealt in life define who you become.
But I also believe and am grateful everyday for having the mentors that I have had and have in my life.
I feel it as a duty to give back and serve that same role for others in any way that I can.
Hardship will only make us stronger. Love your inspiring story. I can’t wait to see you achieve your independence. Keep up the great work! GenY Fiannce Guy
I read your interview yesterday but I wanted to read it again before I commented. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing! A lot of people think because you have a rough start, you can’t become anything better. They tend to fall into the stereotypes and think they don’t deserve better. People forget that they have a choice and you are a great example of that!
Thank you so very much for your kind words Sylvia.
I hope this reaches some of those people that have had a rough start and are wondering if they can turn their life around.
I really like that saying of having the choice to ask for new cards. I’ve had rough patches in my life, but I must remind myself that so many people have had/have it so much harder. So who am I to feel sorry for myself? We control our own destiny. Your story is really inspiring!
Thanks Sydney. I totally believe that we control our own destiny.
We are all fortunate for every inhale and exhale. Though living in US is a fantasy, we all can play well by choosing the cards wisely regardless regardless where we are residing.
Man, thanks for sharing.. That’s an interesting, I won’t say cool, although I’m thinking it, story!
It’s awesome that you’ve been able to come from that type of household & move away from it..
It’s pretty inspiring actually! Yes, I’m still reading too, although haven’t commented much recently
Right on Jeff! Glad your still reading along and no worries on the commenting.