TED Conversations

Mary Vidaurri

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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:)

+5
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nat K

    • +1
    Jul 19 2013: Mary,
    you definitely can do anything and be anything in this life. Doesn't matter what your background is. Plus, as I understand, you are citiizen of a great country where you can get good education, also without a loan! It isn't easy, but feasible and this is a real chance. Trust me, many people in other places would give anything to be in your place. Just my story cut short: I grew up in one of the Soviet Repoubliks, in the 90s all went down the hill, my parents lost all their savings etc. etc. I even remember we didn't have enough to eat at times plus imagine very cold winters and the heating was very very expensive. What saved my family was our optimism and being one family, but also and most importantly the expertise of my highly educated parents. Their expert advice did not bring them wealth at later point, but a lot of respect from the community. My family has always been very proud of all the education most of my nuclear family members could pursue and this is my point here, particularly for a girl: Get your education sorted. I left the country when I was 17. I arrived in Germany with little money in my pocket and no friends or family. And I made it. I never took the loan. I got scholarships, got my MA, live and work in London now, got a nice property with my partner. But the material things are by no means the most important in my life. My travels and scholarships abroad were the most valuable experiences in my life. These experiences shaped me. I've travelled most of my life and this is who I am. It doesn't have to be the recipe for you. But it does help a lot if you are independent as a woman. This will give you a freedom to make the best decisions for yourself. Keep us posted;)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.