I find that the older I get, the more I have allowed the world to influence my dreams. When I was a kid, there was no limit to who or what I would become. I was told by family members that there was nothing stopping me from achieving my goals and dreams. I remember wanting to become a doctor, a fireman, and a secretary. Not separately, but all at once!
However, I reached puberty and got a little distracted. Yes, boys and teen peer pressure got in the way of my keeping a level head in junior high school and my early high school years. I decided then that I would become a secretary at some large corporate firm in Downtown Manhattan and learn the ins and outs of a typewriter or word processor. Hey, it was the mid to late 80's and these archaic machines were the only means available. My home life was hell. It didn't help that I grew up in poverty and everyone around me was either on drugs or abused alcohol. I felt that my life would reflect that of my parents.
Furthermore, during my high school years, my very encouraging English teachers told me I could not write an essay to save my life. Not in those words exactly but it was heavily implied through the tossing of my papers to the desk or the typical "eyes raised heavenward" look that indicated I was a complete failure at writing. Never once did I think to be a teacher nor a writer. Three majors later, I really had no direction, something happened during my umpteenth year of college. Professor H. read my papers and told me that with a few corrections, edits and revisions, my paper would be an A+. I almost died! Who knew that all you need is the world to stop beating you up and have someone believe in you.
Consequently by my senior year in high school, the world beat me down just a little more and by this time I just wanted to go to college. Although I majored in Business Administration (I didn't even know what that meant at the time), I realized that I had no idea what I wanted to be. I had no goals, no plan and no real ambition. To earn a doctorate in medicine meant endless years in college plus two years as an intern. I no longer had any interest in becoming a fireman (thanks to Backdraft) and the exciting life of an executive assistant no longer enticed me (thanks to Working Girl).
However, this little girl from the Bronx, trudged on. I finished college, obtained a Master's degree, became a special education teacher and have a wonderfully supportive, immediate family. I still have obstacles ahead- finishing one of the three WIP's, applying for my second Master's and finding an agent once I finish my first WIP. However, I know that I'll get there as long as I keep dreaming a little dream . . .
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