Forging our own paths

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When you are a kid, you only know what you know based on the house that you live in.  There is this moment when you start to experience your own life and realize that not everybody lives the way you do.  I am not so sure why I began to think about this recently but there is one experience that keeps running through my head. 

It might be that because school is over there is a group of Josh's friends that hang at our house every night.  Josh makes them dinner and they all get involved.  That is our house yet I hear different things from these kids about how their homes are different.  Even though everyone's home is different when you are younger it is your parents that are the end all be all. They are your role models and as you get older and see the world as bigger than the four walls that you live in you can then begin to forge your own path.

When I was eight we were living in Ann Arbor, MI.  It was an idyllic place to be.  The streets had sidewalks, the kids roamed freely, we drove up and down the street on our bikes.  One night I spent the night at a friends house.  I can't recall if she was a good friend or just one of those random sleepovers but it is irrelevant.  I went over to her house and immediately I knew that she had a totally different life than me.  The house was old, large, dark and creaky. 

We had dinner with her parents at a huge long table in the dining room and only four of us sat at it.  We were served the dinner by a woman who worked for them and each of our plates had a proportioned amount on each plate, a small amount that was already cut up.  That was it, no seconds.  Nobody really spoke.  I recall the meal was quite formal where our house was the complete opposite.  We served ourselves, we sat at the table in the kitchen and it was a basic free for all. 

When we went to bed I noticed how itchy and stiff the sheets were.  The blanket was a thick scratchy wool.  I told my friend that the sheet were itchy and she said that they let the sheet dry outside and that is why.  We used a dryer. 

The experience has stuck in my mind all these years.  It was that moment where I realized that I was my own person.  That how we lived in our house was not how everyone lived.  That going out into the world an experiencing other homes gave me the ability to think about how I want to lead my life.  Maybe the way that my parents did it was not the end all be all. 

Entrepreneurs go out in the world building their companies.  They take advice, they look at other models and how they worked or didn't work, they not only create their own businesses but they create their own four walls.  That experience I had at 8 stuck with me and perhaps deep inside that made me think about who it was I wanted to be and how I wanted to forge my own path in life.