"...All of them will be first generation to not just go to college, but to finish high school....it is this that makes me feel worthwhile, and hopeful."
Oh boy, does this ring a bell with me!
I watched a young fellow go through a work program that would help make him the first of his large family group to graduate high school.
Not only that, but my boy is the first in our family to do the same...even in university. He is now comptroller for a company. And he did it on his own, from age 14...maybe younger.
Yes, government programs can help, but often they are so complicated that the student doesn't recognize their value in time.
I think it comes down to the individual worker in 'the system' who delivers the message...as you do. ...And to the student who listens. Those students seem to have something special. I believe they go on to set new standards for, at least, their own families.
As for forgetting success, etc...this world asks us to face issues on every front...minute by minute. No wonder we aren't thinking of our very best, up front, here and now!
But we don't have to...our sub-conscious minds remember, and serve up all we need, instantly.
I'm here to tell you that we get better and better at remembering, daily. ...Putting two and two together, and getting far more than four, daily.
And that's all we need to know.
And, I'm not kidding!
We get used to the 'academic' format, dealing with all the itemized points of a subject, and thinking we need to 'prove' we know it thoroughly, by writing 'exams' of one type or another.
Until the happy day we realize that it is all there, ready for use at a moment's notice, in our sub-conscious minds.
Five or six or ten years ago I began to want to write, and noticed that I found excellent points and words to use, only to forget them ten seconds later. After a while I noticed that the little things I did to 'remind' myself, like tucking a finger into my palm, were no longer necessary.
Today, I simply direct my focus toward the point, or word, and it pops back into my head. Often it comes with a better word or idea, and I write by 'flow'.
I no longer need to type it all out, and take scissors to the page...reorganizing the order of the points, and rewriting.
Practice helps...and trust in oneself.
Also, my life experiences only help...they are NOT the whole pie...thank goodness!
Somehow, you will notice that you have passed the 'academic' way of understanding.
Give yourself a 'reminder' of the good stuff, if you like. Write a list of your clients and successes, or stick up post-it notes. Better still, save paper and write it in your mind.
"My happiness list contains the names..."
Your sub-conscious mind can't take a joke. It is honor-bound to remember, without limitation, whenever you want to remember.
At first, you may not 'believe' a 'happiness list' is possible...or that it has the power to lift you out of the doldrums. That's okay. Do it anyway...out loud. And grin. (Grins are powerful, in themselves.)
It's after 5 a.m. I am only guessing that these ideas may help. But something will. I know that for sure, and I have to say so.
We are miles and lifetimes apart, Sparque, but we are humans, and humans can come up with all kinds of neat things.
Know this, I really like your progress, as you have written it here. You couldn't have written it if it weren't true. Trust that.
We likely will never meet, but we will always know that we both gave a hoot. Just as your clients give a hoot, and always will.
Have a lovely lunch! Maybe do it quarterly, with whoever is available to come...and tell about it in a circular letter, or something.