HomedyslexiaWhy is exploration discouraged?

As I was eating breakfast and trying to put my brain cells in some semblance of order today, I listened to episode 6 of The Codpast, which you can find on SoundCloud, iTunes or Stitcher. For those who haven’t heard of it, this UK based podcast centers around the stories of dyslexic people from all walks of life. I strongly advise you to check it out if you haven’t already.

Exploring nature is encouraged. Why isn’t it the
same for exploring professional life?

Anyway, a gent by the name of Peter Stringfellow told his story during that episode. He left school in his teens, and pursued a rather eclectic path to finding a huge amount of success in music promotion. Throughout his travels in sales and assorted other jobs, he was able to monopolize on his natural talent for relating to people.

I’ve noticed that many dyslexics who do find their personal passions end up following similar paths. In my case, I’ve wandered through the fields of alternative medicine, academic English, psychic phenomenon, insurance sales, retail, office work, food preparation, internet sales, tutoring and a little volunteering with various organizations. Now, I work on writing, which is something I’ve always been pretty decent at.

Back in middle and high school, I did best in classes that relied on essays. Even when I had to take shop class and accidentally shattered my thumb nail with a box saw, I passed without being able to complete one of the assigned projects by writing an essay on carpentry.

Who knows where I’ll go from here? I will keep writing, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try a few other paths for a while.

Our culture tells us that we should seek a single path in our teenage years or earlier, and stay on it throughout our lives. Outside of hobbies, any sort of exploration seems to be frowned upon, when so many peoples’ natural inclinations are to explore.

I wonder if that’s part of why so many people are suffering from so many anxiety related disorders today. When they do what they’re “supposed to” the unspoken promises are fallen through upon. Most may earn enough for shelter, food, luxuries and maybe even to have a family, but how many still feel discontent echoing throughout their hearts?

When I was working a “real” job, regardless of what it was, I suffered through life more often than I actually lived it.

I hope that with my generation, and the one we raise, we can change the world for the better. I hope we can offer our children the chance to explore without judgement. I’d love to see more places offering apprenticeships in the trades, and less pressure being put on kids to go to college, when it might not be the right path for them.

College should remain an option, by all means, but there’s more roads to education than that one alone. There are trade schools, there are some apprenticeships, there are organizations like Americorps, and there’s always the option to start working in various fields.

If more kids were given the option to try out more of these things, would they be happier as adults?

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