As a child, I had a big mouth. During my wakeful hours, I never stopped talking. It's funny how certain things never change. A lot of what I said had to do with my hopes and dreams. I would tell my mother what I wanted to be when I grew up - a doctor, a nurse, an entertainer, a pediatric social worker, a writer, an English Lit. teacher, business owner, baker and the list goes on and on. My mother was (and still is) supportive of all of the things I've ever wanted to do and be.
However, as I grew older, I became more of an introvert when it came to sharing my hopes and dreams with people. In fact, there were some instances where reactions to my declarations were met with harsh criticism. There was one time when I told a family friend, who was a nurse, that I wanted to be a nurse too. The response I received was, "Well, you're grades aren't really good enough. And it's a lot of hard work." I must have been about 12 or 13. Her words left me feeling deflated.
For a couple of years, I was undecided whether or not I wanted to become a nurse. That's when I found writing. I loved everything about it and decided I wanted to become a writer. Then again, my hopes and dreams of becoming a writer were deflated by harsh criticism from a high school teacher. I was such a sensitive and dramatic girl.
At around 17 years old, I found my voice again. This time, it was an inner voice and it said, "Who the heck cares what everyone else thinks or says? You can take chances, do whatever you want and become whatever you want to be. You've been through so much in your life already. Are you really going to let people bring you down?" The answer was no.
I started taking chances and doing whatever the heck I wanted, within reason, of course. Well, ok. Sometimes my choices were pretty darn stupid. Like the time I decided to cut my own hair. I practically chopped it all off. All.of.it.
With regards to my future, I did enroll in college right after high school. Like many silly teenagers, I skipped a couple classes and didn't really apply myself. Bad choice, of course. About one week into the semester, I took my first anatomy and physiology class.
And you know what? I LOVED it. It was then and there that I decided I wanted to take the steps needed to follow my dream of working in the medical field.
The thing is, I've always been someone that's wanted results as quickly as possible. I left college (I returned many years later to pursue a degree) and went to school to become a medical assistant.
I was working at a hospital as a nurse's assistant about 8 months later. I followed my own path, believed in myself and and was happier for it.
Over the years, I've continued to make many choices and have taken chances. Many of them, knowing full well that I was taking a chance on myself and the future. That's the main takeaway here - take chances, for yourself and for your dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you can't, because you actually can.
You may mess up (even cut all of your hair off, like I did). More importantly, you may very well realize you can do anything you want, with a little hard work and belief in yourself and your abilities.