Do you remember those “When I grow up” assignments in school? I always
struggled when I got them.
Sure, that treasured spelling and grammar my dyslexia liked messing with was more important to the teachers than the content, but I never knew what to say.
When I let my mind go, the possibilities were endless.
I wanted to be an FBI agent. I also wanted to be an astronaut. Maybe a marine biologist. Oh, archeology is fun. I could dig for bones! Or maybe I could be a scientist, and discover cures for terrible diseases. I could even be a journalist and tell important stories.
When I woke up, I knew I was restricted by both the assignment and what the world expected of me.
Eventually, whatever confidence I had managed to muster shattered, as often happens with girls as well as many kids with labels like “dyslexia” and “disability”.
I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to make the world a better place, but by the time I graduated high school, I was convinced I couldn’t.
It took a long time to realize my dream. Oddly enough, it was there flowing just under the surface of my grey, turbulent life.
I coped with my struggle to fit in, make enough money to get by and to find some sort of success in the path of “should be” by writing. I kept journals. I wrote fan fiction and even a little original fiction. I took part in text based role plays, but I didn’t think it was something I could build a life around.
It wasn’t until I found myself seemingly trapped in a job that was slowly killing me that I realized I had a real dream, and it was actually possible. Sure, it would take a lot of hard work, but I could do it.
All of that journaling, writing for release and writing with others had taught me valuable skills. To my surprise, people were willing to pay me for that work, and others even wanted to help me.
After ensuring I had enough saved up to cover expenses for the next several months, with the help of my husband’s income, I was able to leave that job and embark on the writing dream.
I’m on the “working hard” part of the program. I’m currently “doing”, and I’ll keep “doing” for a long time.
I can’t deny it’s frustrating at times. Other times, it feels hopeless, but I have only to look back at what I’ve accomplished so far to keep going. Generally, I love it.
Although my dyslexia does give me trouble from time to time, it has become far more of a strength than a weakness.
The flexible thinking I’m naturally predisposed to helps me see from different points of view and mirror writing styles desired by clients. With that flexibility comes curiosity, which only feeds into creativity and enhances the tendency dyslexia gives me to make unique connections.
One of my writing related dreams is to finish my novel, and have it published. It’s slow going, but I’m working on that one.
Another is to be able to support my household on the back of my writing. Right now, that’s slowly happening through blogging and copywriting. Eventually, I hope that’ll shift more towards fiction, but I am where I need to be right now.
Today’s world is focused on the achievements of people in their twenties and sometimes teens. It’s easy to become discouraged when we don’t see people older than 25 celebrated on news outlets, unless it’s for surviving into their late 90s or early 100s.
It’s even harder when you carry a label like “dyslexia”, because we’re taught from a young age that it’s something to fight against. In reality, it’s a part of us, and it can actually work FOR us.
It’s never too late to find your dream, and it’s never too late to pursue it. Our lives are for living, and they don’t end at 25. Our labels don’t have to drag us down, either. If we allow ourselves the time to figure out how to work with us, they can lift us up.
This post is part of Debrina Wright‘s blog crawl, in which we’re asked “How do you do YOUR dream?” It’s in celebration of her amazing looking Dreamers 2 Doers Retreat in Mexico. She’s also hosting an online course, the 10 Day Discovery Adventure.