Streets or school
I am Street Smart and School Dumb. This is why;
My goal here is to share my own experiences, having had to leave school at 14, and forced to hold my own.
Like you, life experiences shaped all of us who we are. Unlike you, I didn't get to learn the books or various subjects. Therefore, this is what you must learn on the streets. It is that concrete where I still am most successful and that concrete mayhem where I fit in best.
In your world I struggle, smile and nod. Many times not having a clue about grammar or Shakespeare.
And anything is possible. At the end of this Hub remember someone with no education or school smarts wrote a Hub. Anything is possible.
My situation took me places only dreams are made of, and to crack houses only armed guys hung at. I believe my drug addiction back through those years played both a good and bad influence. Rather a good and terrifying ride.
There are School Smarts and there are Street Smarts. Each of us hold one or the other, but cannot posses both.
That's not exactly true. We all have survival smarts, and some more than others, so you can posses both. I do not mean equally, or in the same type of way.
I should define quickly what I mean by each.
School smarts refers to book smart, scholastically smart, study smart, knowledge of many topics, academic smart, intellectual, educated and cultivated.
For most of us, that again, means a lot of education. The school kind.
Street smarts refers to more of a survival instinct or rather ability, the means to meet people skills, regardless of to whom, practice not just caution but be proactive in self-awareness, manipulation, truth, practical living, how to live life, bargaining, keeping yourself entertained by entertaining others, living on next to nothing, etiquette never exposed to, when needed lie, wise, be driven and determined, feeling you have a purpose and finally, finding your own.
On your own.
My Education, like few of us, came straight from the streets.
Make no mistake about it. I have no regrets. Whether optional choices or governed direction. I stand firm where I am, and am, who I am, because of everything that brought me here.
I have 2 choices. Use what I know to my advantage or continue to live homeless and die an awful death, worst of all, all alone. I stand firm because I have to and I am grateful I can.
THINGS DO NOT CHANGE, WE CHANGE.
That, in itself, is my life's biggest lesson.
**Having not even explained myself, I want you to know I am a strong believer in Education. I believe it also to be critical and crucial for the success of any person's development and potential. I do wish I had of not given up, and had got an education myself.
I have, like you, lived more than a few types of lives. Learned a few lessons, just in another, round-about way, I'll say. So let's go, come on, this way...................
From poor to Rich, form young to older, from a victim to a survivor, from a drug addict to recovery, from hungry to full, from unstable to stable, from unlucky to blessed, from alone to taking risks, from defeated to par, from talented to still, from wild to calm, from free to restricted, from loved to hated and hated to loved, homeless to sheltered, hairdresser to global producer, home to 1st class traveling, new kid to popular executive, hidden notebooks to journals, motherhood to childless, dirty to clean, panhandler to giving, from judged to considered, and uneducated to street wise and smart.
We all have lived really, this is just my story of what I have learned and how I did. I have lived life to its fullest, what a gift.
Way that's Safe
School History of Events - The Proposal
It started when I turned 14 years old. I was given a very judgmental choice to re-enter school. Because I had just attended a 30 day rehab program the Board of Education gave me this option; (given now at 14 I was some sort of criminal or something);
I could re-do grade 8 (disregarding having already moved half the year into grade 9), but then re-enter next year and start grade 9 again. Check this out - they actually gave me option B which consisted of leaving immediately and permanently. I would be given all credits in good standing up to and completion of grade 10.
Feeling like a maggot anyways, I took the deal, emptied my sparse locker and had no idea what that actually meant. Also how very wrong of the School Board it was and how very scared I was going to get.
By the way, I would learn later that my first life lesson would realize I can wait to make a decision. I had the right to question but allowed them to intimidate me when in fact I was better now than ever. To feel confident that I deserve exactly what every other student did. I was no different, just sick. It did however take me a few years to realize how large of a lesson this actually was.
3 weeks after school dissolved I had to get working;
Age is compulsory, wisdom is optional.
Holding my own from such a young age has given me wisdom which I consider my life lesson number 2. Wisdom in the form of people-wise, street-wise, skills-wise, survival-wise.
The truth is, we all learn how to live life. My point is, that how we live our lives are obviously based on what we are exposed to in the younger years of our life. This includes years of schooling to develop and gain potential.
I am street smart and school dumb. Some maybe school smart and street dumb. There are many similarities in both worlds. They have many differences as well.
Here is a short recap of the jobs I worked as an indication of my life skills and how quickly a non-educated girl from Halifax can make. How? Like this.....
A quiet, shy, demure young girl-instantly cast into the world made the passage from obscurity to working girl. I quickly developed into a chameleon that influenced my world by connecting with people emotionally, intellectually, and physically. This chameleon would grow and improve forever. Then ultimately save my life.
Some of my jobs in sequence were as follows;
cleaning dirty golf balls in a warehouse alone from 2 am to 5 am near the airport.
Refinishing Bathtubs or spray painting them a different color.
Receptionist for an Advertising Agency
Junior Account Executive in Advertising
Senior Account Executive
Global broadcasting Producer for Advertising Commercials
Jobless on Disability and Homeless
Writer and Editor and Print Producer
Writer from home still on Disability
What was this mysterious quality did I learn in a lump sum? The same qualities that allow the most influential people on earth to attract, enchant, and persuade.
This mystical, silent, magnetic quality I learned, called CHARISMA. And you have it. We all do, but I learned mostly from a few business men. I wanted what they had. Respect and inspiration and a 'wanting' to change people's lives. Another lesson and, once developed, it helped me…
Get far more respect than the average person does
Be admired and adored, seemingly without effort
Exude huge amounts of self-confidence and self-esteem
Appear extremely powerful without being intimidating
Easily get what you want, because people instinctively want to help you
I actually made it and with respect!
Despite the illegal and lonely experiences I lived to endure, I somehow came up on top. Well, not somehow. It was due to pure determination and drive. On my part.
I did it. I was an executive traveling around the world standing side to side with the biggest Directors and Clients any Producer could ask for. Mostly, they respected me. But, I knew people and genuinely have much compassion for all people. That with a fearless humbled attitude there was me, making more money than I could spend.
I proved to myself once again, street smarts can, in my case, play a larger role, along with truth. More than anything book. The staff that I managed had MB A's but I had multiple years of on-set experience and client relations.
This is why I have no regrets. I give back to the addicts and homeless children as well as prostitutes today. The best I can. Hoping that even just one of them will believe and see there are possibilities.
Don't get me wrong, it was hell getting there, but I love nothing more than a challenge and that also gave me my determination.
This Hub is about success. From any walk of life. Anything is possible. This I now know.
Unfortunately it was all taken away from me due to mental illness. But I did it. This illness can't take that away from me. Nothing can.
While I now have to work from home, I'm loving it too. I am determined to learn grammar and poetry structure, punctuation, verbs, nouns, you name it. If it will make me a better writer because I want to be the best writer I can. Who also knew the day would come where I have my home office and COMPUTER!
I have my line of greeting cards and a million ideas. I am so lucky and that's what I mean when I say these lessons have brought me to where I am today.
As a recap, these were some of my street schooling lessons and principles that I obtained from the streets. Similar to your school learning's, just at a different pace and on different subjects, slightly. :o)
I have the same rights as everyone else and shouldn't feel less than because I was living a very different lives than the other kids. Don't allow people to intimidate you.
Wisdom. People wise, street wise.
Charisma. A tool for survival and forming a personality for life. The beginnings of a knowing a different type of people-wise.
Direction. Discovering this is something I had to and understand how to get it let alone follow it. Blessed with DETERMINATION and DRIVE. From where, I believe my mother's influence as a survivor herself.
Being taken advantage of over and over and learning how not to be. This was very difficult for me.
Survival, under the worst circumstances imaginable and on my own. This is where I learned most of my street smarts directly.
There are no free rides and nothing comes without a price. Not from resentment but from Fact.
There are second chances and I learned this the hard way but received a gift n the end. The knowledge of knowing this up front.
The truth will set you free. For sure. It builds confidence and integrity as well. Got me from a lot of bad situations when you would have thought the reverse would be true.
Each day is a gift for me, and I do feel it everyday. This has taught me the true meaning of gratitude.