Mashenka’s Custom-Made Future
Her eyes gazed into mine as we sat on the couch together. Mashenka, our 18-year-old daughter, was facing her senior year in high school with absolutely no idea of what to do with the rest of her life.
Graduate high school – yes; beyond that – blank canvas.
She had enough people praying for her that, if she desired to be the next pope, it might likely be possible. Seeing that we were not Catholic might be a problem….
Mashenka occasionally expressed an attraction for career paths that might not suit someone of her temperament or abilities. A few were not in demand as careers, soft “area studies” that were so soft as to constitute mental mush, not to mention vocational doom. Many more had aspects which she really might not enjoy nor excel in. So here we were with a big, fat zero, sitting on the couch, brainstorming.
We reviewed once again what her real interests were, the kind of issues which might reveal her life’s purpose. Up till this point, she had always been a bland and blank canvas, vanilla, as far as her future. The teen hoped for us to rescue her, guide her without actually telling her, instinctively know and mentally transfer success thought waves into her brain. I became concerned lest a forceful personality come across her path and she be swayed one way or another simply because of any lack of insight or creativity on her part.
Today, Mashenka was honest when asked about her true passions. Not that our daughter had to cure cancer in her lifetime nor stem the tide of terrorism, but what were the interests that she seemed to return to repeatedly? She listened with more attention than normal as I listed her strong points and the fact that we all needed to learn and stretch into our futures.
Nobody was going to pay us to be cute, nor allow us to study subject matter we already knew.
I showed her how to calculate credit hours, and what constituted a major and how many electives were possible to build further dimension and depth into any future. Volunteering would be key in order to learn more about potential careers and what they were really like.
The two of us searched websites, colleges, CLEP exams and so much more. For now, we pushed the cold reality of the SAT/ACT exams to the side, since she refused to study or prepare any time we brought up the subject. Not to mention whenever we had signed up for the exam for her and her brother during their junior year… it was cancelled due to power outages and other freak events.
As though the entire universe was conspiring to keep her down, she would rise on my shoulders, if need be. We would push without prodding, and pull without undue pressure. I gave her a simple gameplan, what else to research and possible next steps to take.
This time, she just may follow-through.
————-Tags: deciding on a college major, finding life's purpose takes effort, helping daughter find her strong points, helping teens find their life's career, planning for college, repeated interests lead to life's work, sons and daughters with no life plans, traits and talents in kids