On the surface, getting a piercing is just that, a piercing. What can you learn about yourself or the world from putting a hole in your body?

I have always wanted a Helix piercing, but I feared what others (read: parents) might think of me, and truthfully, I was frightened of the pain. I forgot that some of the most worthwhile things in life are painful and may not be important in others’ minds. Having children, getting your teeth cleaned, or getting your vaccinations can all be painful and worthwhile but are not for everyone. Relationships can be painful too, but they are worth the effort.

What I learned wasn’t so much about the piercing as it was about the piercer. I’m not going to say I look down on jobs that don’t require a university education, but I just hadn’t thought of them for our teenagers when helping them with their life plan. My piercer is a man who comes to work with a smile, feels satisfied with what he does every day, makes others feel good about themselves, and he makes no apologies. He was instantly likeable, and I wanted what he has for our kids.

Are we, as a society, focused on the process more than the end goal though? My husband and I have insisted our children get a higher education and I still believe they should. Not because they have to be lawyers, doctors, or chartered accountants, but because post-secondary will help them understand themselves better. More education gives you an understanding of the world and your place in it. Attending university also gives you time. Time to learn, have fun, grow, take in what the world has to offer outside the influence of your parents, siblings, and teachers. University is a place to try on being several people to find out which one you like the best.

But, if we had a son or daughter who knew his/her place before they got to school, could I be a brave enough parent to let them find it in themselves and set them free? I’d like to think so, but I’m not sure.

We have our routines firmly planted making straying off-course scary. Also, likely I would have to convince my husband that our child would be fine without schooling and I’m not particularly adept at confrontational situations. I picture I’d get knocked out in a boxing ring so as not to make the other person feel dejected.

But sometimes university might not be the answer. On-the-job apprenticeship for brick-laying, piercing, acting, and a host of other excellent jobs might even be better. Even some of the high-end technology jobs require on-the-job training as they change so rapidly schools can’t adapt fast enough. The tools to get the job done right have to befit the end goal. Use a sharp needle to make the cleanest hole.

It would be painful for me to see one of our children not go to university, I think. But, it would be more painful to have them follow a life plan that didn’t have them live their passion. My kids don’t know what that is yet or they are just too afraid to tell us they want to be construction flag turners. As parents, we have to guide our children to make the right decisions so that they can get the right tools in line to do the job, university or not. We have to do this without them knowing we are doing it though. That is the tough part.

All this provides absolutely no answers. Building a future is complicated. Finding yourself and your passion is even more complicated. I’m still working on mine. Continually challenging myself is the tool I’m using to find the perfect spot for something beautiful to survive.

My Turning 50 Like a Boss Tip: Getting the job done, requires the right tools.

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Kristine Laco shares the stories we all have with a splash of sarcasm, a pinch of bitch and a ton of wine at Adulting In Progress dot com. Her middle finger is her favourite and she lives by the motto that if you are not yelling at your kids, you are not spending enough time with them. She takes selfies at the gyno. Taco Tuesday is her gospel. Reality TV is real folks. She is making turning 50 a job because she doesn't have one.

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  1. Pingback: Helix, Highness - Mum Revised

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