1. This is a great anecdote. I bet you wanted to find that poor kid a calculator! It takes me back to when I had to take the ACTs four hours earlier than everyone else to be able to attend my Granny’s funeral. Taking that test at 5AM was much harder than the retake was at 9.

    • If it wouldn’t cost me my side hustle and possibly jeopardize their scores, I’d bring calculators AND snacks! The rumbling tummies break my heart, too. I can’t imagine taking the ACT at 5 am under that kind of stress. Talk about showing up!

  2. Cool story! I remember those days. When I look back at them, wonderful days… Showing up isn’t always easy. I used to not even show up for myself, but have been working very hard to stick to a mentality that gets results. I think the trick I learned how to keep on showing up is to set easy realistic goals, and create success over and over again even on a small scale. Repetitive winning motivates to keep on showing up. It’s still tricky and easy to get demotivated and stop showing up.

    The other day I was working on my blog and I was getting getting pretty demotivated. I decided to show up in another part of life where I knew I would get results and get success, even if it was a small part of my day. I did create success and I got back motivated.

    As will says, helping other people is a concept of showing up. I sometimes think people forget to show up for themselves in life.

    I could talk about this stuff for hours, but unfortunately don’t have the time. Bottom line, I think showing up is wonderful and can sometimes be tricky. Even if we don’t want to do something, we know that showing up is the right thing to do and we’ll feel better afterwards.

    Great article!


  3. If you’ll forgive the links, I talked about my reasons here and how I managed it here. These days, I still have most of those responsibilities but we’ve gone and made our own little tax deduction / dependent too. Even if we hadn’t, though, I’d still feel a responsibility at large to be someone who contributes to society in a meaningful way.

  4. I worked part-time in high school and one FT and one PT job in the summer. Because I knew it was important to have money for school.

    These days, motivation is about getting a paycheck for my family. And I need to make sure my husband and I take care of our health problems. Which means making sure to make and keep doctor’s appointments.

  5. Thank you for sharing that story. So inspiring. There is a huge amount of privilege in the world — especially here in the PF space — and so I always appreciate these reminders that some people have to work a whole lot harder than others to achieve the same thing. Thank you for all that you do to help level the playing field!

    (P.S. I asked for the TI-85 for my birthday one year, and got it. And it was better than any toy or status symbol, because of the promise it held for me.) 🙂

  6. This was a great read! Showing up is so important- and it’s something we all struggle with. There were many days I wish I could have called in sick when I was working and attending college, but I knew I had to study and do well, and I knew I had to earn money and work. Thankfully, it contributes to a good work ethic!

  7. Thanks for being there to encourage him. I’m sure you were kind and cared more about the test-takers than all the other proctors put together.

    For me, not showing up was never an option. There was no safety net or backup plan besides hard work. I moved out at 17 and never looked back.

    Yes, I had support from fantastic teachers and eventually extended family, but it took me 15 years before I finally felt secure enough that I could finally breathe and relax and believe that I was safe and my world wasn’t on the brink of collapse if I made a mistake, and I’m still working on it.

    But, having a good work ethic has served me well. Now I want to make sure that my nieces and cousins know that while they need to work hard, someone always has their back.

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