I have found, since walking away from the old job, that I have learned and grown so much in my thirty-something years, and truly I was at a point in time where I got as far as I was going to without taking flight on my own to seek my true calling in life. The “old” me, the insecure one of years ago who had little confidence in herself, would never thought this possible. Thanks to good friends, supportive parents, and just plain looking inside myself to realize my potential, that little frightened bird has made it. However, for those following along here, please don’t tell me I should just let go, move on, and walk away from something when I’ve committed myself a great deal to at least trying to do my part, with a load of feelings and thoughts that go with it, when I’ve been doing the best I can, take it or leave it. It’s just not that simple – these experiences, feelings and thoughts are a large part of what has built me up to who I am today. Hear me out for a little background on my life, why don’t you?
There are a few situations I have had to go through in the past to realize sometimes you have to “just keep swimming” and not look back when something has helped you grow, but only held you back for whatever reasons after a time; sometimes it’s not agreeing or meshing with people and situations that have become dysfunctional, futile or feed negativity into an environment while you try to keep your eyes on the prize, whatever it may be. You become broken inside, discouraged, losing heart, losing focus. For so many reasons it can happen, and not just at any one time or place in your life. There will be people who misconstrue your words, don’t listen to your advice (or that of others), rush to keep you quiet, cut you out of the picture or threaten and intimidate you for daring to speak up, and in that, seemingly refusing to validate your feelings and input. And there are those who do not see things eye-to-eye with you, or simply aren’t in an ideal place themselves, whatever it may be, and in dealing with this realization sometimes you have to leave behind or cut out those parts that aren’t healthy in order to remain strong yourself. You can’t change other people, after all; you can try to affect change, but we’re not designed to fix other people’s problems, only work on ourselves and do the best we can to make our existence the best it can be. But for all the parts that make it difficult, realizing this is a sign of growth, especially when you muster the courage to break through the haze and see you are still that same person you used to be, still full of hope and potential, still wanting everything you always have, only now you’re stronger, braver, more prepared for the journey ahead.
I can’t even begin to say how long it took me to get there – when you spend your schooling years struggling with a learning disability (for me, it is Dyscalculia; look it up), believing you are as dumb as your disability and the people around you make you feel, and it holds you back. When you realize it is preventing you from chasing the dream of being what you always thought you’d be; for me, that was a becoming a veterinarian, and it takes a long time to feel like you’ll get anywhere when you have to redirect yourself from something you would have been content spending the rest of your life doing. That
little HUGE cloud of low self-esteem never quite leaves someone who is more than aware of their shortcomings, you just learn to adapt, move on, and look for a new dream for yourself. I had to do it at a point in my life where so many already knew and/or were on their way to being just what they aspired to be (or are trying to figure it out): my junior year of high school. It caused a lot of frustration, heartache and a sense of defeat to realize I was never going to be that doctor I wanted to be. Sure, I could have tried, but I wouldn’t have made it; university degrees aren’t obtained simply by having heart to be something if your mind isn’t cut out for the complex path that it takes to earn it. A bitter pill to swallow, but even so, I still love animals and feel my love helps me care for them in the best way I can, just without being a vet.
Indeed, it is never too late to try and go back and chase a dream, but life has a funny way of showing us new direction; since writing and art are things I liked and received praise and encouragement to keep doing during those “I’m a stupid failure” years, well, it didn’t take long to realize life had a plan for me all this time, and my former teachers would be proud to see I didn’t give up at honing my talents, even if for a long time my self-esteem and people tried to tell me “you’ll never make it as a writer, actor or artist, those are the hardest professions to try and make a living at.” True, often very true. But then again, artists don’t do it for the money, they do it because they have the passion, often not the glory, but the art is who they are, and they are content to live with that, no matter if or how far it takes them. I stuck myself in a couple jobs I knew weren’t going to be a long-term fit, certainly not with my strongest skills, but still taught me what I needed to know without having a “complete college education.” It does limit a person in some ways, but at least there are things to learn in those humdrum jobs. I needed that experience, and the education and opportunity to work on myself until I was ready to be…whatever I was going to be. In time, I learned graphic design, art, and creative writing with a special focus in entertainment, all those things I thought were impossible to be, gradually falling right into my lap. I am grateful these things have come to enlighten me in a time when I needed that direction, and helped me learn and grow to be the person I always was, just lost my way for a little while. I see other friends and acquaintances doing the same, which encourages me and reminds me I chose the best path for me, I just needed to find my inner strength and confidence to make it possible. 🙂
So yes, I guess I see now I have grown as a person, and surely will continue to, no matter how difficult the journey is at times, it’s all a part of everything my life needs to be. Not someone else’s life, my own. Isn’t that what we all want: happiness, encouragement, and success? However it plays out, be it through fame, fortune, or just personal satisfaction for a job well-done, we just want to know our life means something, that we have a reason for being where we are when we are, and helping others do the same. It’s worth it to ride out those storms, keep chasing the dream, living the dream, learning and growing. And for this, I thank everyone who has helped make it possible to get to this point, for those who saw my potential, teachers who encouraged me, and sure, maybe even those who made it difficult, but helped inspire my desire for a change I needed. I have had to overcome a lot, just like anyone else, but I am willing to accept my weaknesses, thwart them, and redirect my life in a positive way. 😉