About 20 years ago I was working at a grocery store and had just graduated from high school. The store was right next to the school, so many of my co-workers were also classmates. This particular day was slow, so some of us got to talking, discussing life after high school.
A few of us were headed to college, while others had different plans for their careers. There was one who stood out, though. She excitedly mentioned that she had just received a $5,000 graduation gift from her grandmother. All of us were happy for her and I (silly me) asked if she was going to use that money to pay for college.
"Nah, I'm not going to college. I don't have time for that. I'll just work here for a while and then see what happens. I used the money to buy new tires for my car and a great stereo system."
I think about that conversation a lot. I don't remember her name, and this many years later, who she was is a distant, blurry memory. That conversation, however, has stayed with me.
By now, I imagine the car is long gone, along with its tires and radio. I wonder how she made out.