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Mary Vidaurri

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How do you balance living practically, with reaching for your dreams? How much does material gain matter, realistically?

As a teenager, there aren't many people within my age group willing to discuss life’s dilemmas outside of drama unfolding on FB, resulting in mental asphyxiation.
I've got my whole, too brief life, stretched out before me, and the sheer stunningness of my own mortality leads me to question the path my life will lead, and the "real" world impact of my decisions.
I want life and every word to the extent that it's absurd. I want to take every opportunity to travel, and fully experience life, even if it means I don't have much in material wealth. I don't mind hardship, I've lived with it. As long as I have enough for food and healthcare I'm fine. (This plan definitely includes college:)
Yet my family and culture pushes me in the direction of "traditional success" which consists of a job paying big bucks, a shiny new car, big house, two kids, and a dog. The American Dream, for a latina in a migrant family. This is seen as climbing up the ladder, it's a practical, comfortable lifestyle. A wise choice many would say and well within my grasp.
So I guess, after all that backstory, I want to hear what really matters once you've well advanced through life? Do you wish you'd taken the leap, or treasure the security of your life?
I don't know, I'm only 16, so I'd love to hear any advice, or common regrets.
and I hope this doesn't sound like typical teen angst, straight out of Catcher in the Rye:)

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  • Jul 15 2013: What's really great is the fact that you are asking this question when you are sixteen. I started REALLY asking similar questions about 12 years ago, and I still don't have good answers yet, It takes time to figure this out for some. For others, they could know in an instant. If you find yourself taking a long time, and taking your time with these types of questions is a good idea, enjoy it and find something practical to keep you going while you work on it, In the end, I believe it will matter what you do and who you are with more than anything else, but money in the bank is money in the bank. Taking the leap is worth it no matter what age you are.

    Is material gain important to YOU? If it is then go for it.

    1. No one can give you a set of rules that will work 100% for you. Make your own rules.
    2. Listen to everything, but only let the healthy knowledge seeds take root in your mind. "Weed your garden," so to speak, when something is there that shouldn't.
    3. Be careful of what you read on the internet.
    4. Last but not least. No matter how long your journey takes. Frickin enjoy it. I've spent a lot of times focused a bit too much on my mistakes and failures. It's great to learn from these, but dwelling on them will probably only make more mistakes and failures. Enjoy and learn more from your successes.

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