I am 18 years old and live with my father.My parents separated when I was little (2-4 years), so I was used to it when I was growing up. My mother had custody, so my sister and I lived with her until I was 12. During this time, we had very little money, lived in bad environments and I often had to help my mother when she went to the flea market to sell things. I also went to a public primary school. I had a lot of friends, but there were also many bad experiences I had. If my sister and I had not come to my father, we would most likely have become criminals, or at least not exploited our potential. In my school, you weren’t really encouraged or inspired to learn something, financially we barely had a hold and my friends, well, a few have either slipped into crime or have real or head degree.
but I came to my father when I was 12 and things changed.We moved to Washington Dc because of his job, and me and my sister went to a private school. We owned a house, always enough to eat and were relatively wealthy overall. At first I didn’t realize it, but now (at 18) these conditions have helped me enormously. I learned English (which I can now fluently), made good friends and was also relatively popular. This was practically the beginning of my turning point, to live in poor conditions until 12 years and then to be “wealthy”. However, my values, which I have internalized in my 12 years, were still shaped by the norms of the working class. I still had the mindset that reading is doof, that I just have to do enough for school to pass and that material things are very important for you (e.g. playstation 4, Pc to gamble or a TV). I got the real mindset shift when I moved to Jakarta with my father when I was 15.
There, some things changed.My father and I now had a house for two, were even wealthier than before, owned a maid who cooked, washed and cleaned for us, and made a driver. we were rich in a way. I went to a private school again and the environment I was in, I wasn’t used to it. My class was very performance-oriented and so I wasn’t really the flyer, I always did the best i’ve done as always to not perform too badly at school. After a while, however, I was classified as not very smart and that scratched my ego a bit. Up to 10 I always had an nc between 2.0 and 2.3. In the 11 I decided with a few friends to give my best for the school. So I increased in the 11/1 to 1.6 and in the 11.2 already to 1.4. In the 12 I reached the 1.3 and thus also finished my Abitur. In addition, my friends had very different goals than me. While I wasn’t really convinced of myself, wasted a lot of time playing and didn’t particularly engage in anything (except sports), one of my good friends had the goal of becoming successful. We talked about it and in me a feeling of passion ignited, which I only felt before only from time to time in the sport. Over time, I became more and more afraid to make the best of my life and not just waste it with gambles and other pointless things. I have begun to read, to learn more about my life to shape this goal, to achieve my goal with hope and burning passion.
The mindset of poor and rich people is, in my opinion, the biggest difference.Rich people aspire to win, poor people strive not to be poor or to lose. Of course I am not rich, but I have had the experience of being rich and that has influenced my thoughts very positively. I now know both sides and I know what I am aiming for. Yes, I’m only 18, but because of these many experiences I feel like 22. I still have a long way to go, but I know that it is possible for me to achieve what I have put in my head.
Ps: I still do things that I adapted in my early years, it’s not easy to replace these internalized values with new and positive beliefs, but I try.