I’ve had a great deal I’ve wanted to say these last couple weeks, and not nearly enough words or time to say it.
I am not the same person I was when this past summer began. In many ways, my life has changed so drastically I can hardly remember what it was like before. I have said yes to things I hardly would have expected to say yes to, said no to things I would have jumped at a mere three months ago and have made decisions that have unrevokably changed the course my life is taking at this point in time.
About two months ago, I decided that I was going to finish high school.
Now, I’m a bit over the age of someone who is in high school. I’m not going to spell it out, but lets just say I could have been a 2nd year had my life turned out differently—but I am so, so glad it didn’t.
Three years ago, when I started my business, I experienced a paradigm shift unlike any other. Priorities were being refocused. My entire future—at the least the one I was heading to, or the one I had painted in my head—was being rewritten. I was building a residual income, learning invaluable skills, building a career for myself and going through a life experience like no other—all while I was still in high school.
Problem was, I soon realized rather quickly I had a choice to make; school, or my business?
For awhile, I played with the idea of dropping out of high school. I loved the rebelliousness of it, and I loved the challenge it dared not speak, namely, will you be able to make something of yourself without a high school diploma?
But the academic in my won in the end. I loved school, I loved learning, and dammit to all, I was going to finish high school, however tedious and useless to my life plan it was, even if it killed me.
So I stuck to it.
But the question of where I should devote my time remained: school, or work? And I wish I could tell you that I made a decision—a decision of any kind—right away, but I didn’t. In fact, up until three months ago, I held on to the idea that I could do a bit of both at the same time.
Problem was, I was getting very little actual school done. I govern my life by priorities, and on the scale of priorities, high school was far down on the list. My business was successful, and that was where I was putting my time into. Even though I was technically “in school”, I could of well not have been—I definitely wasn’t doing anything. I never acknowledged it, but in my head, school was something to be dealt with “someday soon”. Work won my time.
August 2009, I decided that “someday soon” had come. I certainly wasn’t getting any younger, and after some introspection I realized that my forgotten highschool education was the single greatest factor in why I didn’t feel totally comfortable in the “teenage” world or the “adult” world; I had one foot in each.
So I set out on one of the craziest adventures I’ve taken to date: two years of highschool education in three months. All the work—Chem, Bio, Physics for years 11 and 12, and the hardest general math all the way through. There would be no cop outs, no easy courses. This wasn’t a matter of studying for a high school equivalency exam—I was actually doing to do all the coursework, plus the exams. That was roughly 10 courses in three months.
Of course it sounds crazy. Impossible, even. When my counselor took a look at the sheer number of courses I was taking—before she heard of the time frame I was working with—she said, and I quote: “The ministry [of education] is going to murder me”.
But Chanel is nothing but extreme and crazy. And once I set my mind to something, and I mean really set my mind to something, there is no stopping me.
I completed three courses within the three remaining weeks of August—thats roughly equivalent to one semester of high school, give or take, within three weeks. Within the next four days I am expected to finish another two courses.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Early this month I was recommended for several AP courses, which I naturally said yes to. So now, not only am I finishing high school, but I’m taking on first year university work as well, in the areas of Biology, Chemistry and English—all eligible for 1st year exemption if I score high enough on the exam. In simple English: If I score 86% or high on the AP exam, my first year of college will be taken care of with those three AP courses alone—a first year of college I didn’t have to pay for, I might add.
Of course, this isn’t without sacrifice. I work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week right now to accomplish my goal of finishing two years of highschool in three months—a three months that is up on the day of my birthday, November 14th. Just the fact that I won’t have to work 60 hours a week anymore will be birthday present enough!
But this is something I have to do. Yes, I’m finally finishing school, but this represents something much better than that—it represents my attempts to make peace with the fact that I am getting older, that the government of Canada just sent my parents a letter informing them of changes to my health care coverage on the day of my birthday, and my attempts to close chapters of my life that should have been closed years ago.
Do I regret the years I pushed school to the side? Absolutely not. These opportunities wouldn’t have been available to me had I graduated when I was supposed to. And that’s the most marvelous thing of all—the way the pieces fall right into place, even after it seems like you’ve deviated far off course.
I’m finally tying up the loose ends in my life, and despite the fact that I have no life to speak of at the moment, it has never felt better.