Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Getting Personal and IWSG: It is Always Worth It to Follow Your Dreams

This month I'm not only taking part in IWSG but I'm also a co-host. This is my second time co-hosting this monthly event and it is exciting to help out with such a fun meme that gathers so many of us together. Happy Third Anniversary IWSG.



I was still wondering what to write about when I read Laura M Wavy Lines Blog post on Monday and saw a quote that caught my eye.

If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it's within your reach. And it'll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. It'll be worth it, I promise. - Steve Wozniak
{Steve Wozniak}

I was always the blacksheep in my family. Usually the black sheep is typified as some angry teen smoking pot or committing so petty or worse crime or something. But I wasn't like that. First off I had no interest doing drugs, I decided at a young age to never smoke or drink alcohol and still keep that decision even today. I tried a quick taste of some so called strawberry vodka earlier in the year (I poured some in a bottle cap, yup) and quickly felt like I was a dragon with a hint of strawberry aftertaste. NEVER AGAIN! Second I have no intention on going to prison. I however played the shocking role of unambitious teenage daughter who wanted to be a writer and willing to work in whatever job I could find that wasn't based off money and not be in an office setting if I could avoid it. Oh the scandal! My parents tried to force me into a different direction including pushing me to do CXC Accounting which I failed. When it came to education after high school they turned down going to Edna Manley because it was an Art School. I was literally forced to apply to a University I didn't want to go to (my mother actually draped me up to make me sign the application form, no joke) and the fiasco only ended after I became severely depressed and suicidal. Fast Forward to today I'm the University drop out while my brother got his degree and has gone into banking and my sister is getting a degree involving Computers. Please note, I'm the oldest. Right now I'm technically between jobs but I am earning money ghostwriting (which my parents will never consider a job). Also since I consider myself a writer I know that I'm not really unemployed. Like all my siblings we still live at home though I'm working on getting out which is looking brighter since my ghostwriting jobs have picked up since a big dip when I had to take a break most of June due to no access to a computer (meaning no one besides my dad - his got stolen in May- would lend me one even after my new computer this May turned out to be a scam that it took til July to get my money back. By then I had other expenses to pay so I'm just now starting to save for a computer again. Good news I'm nearly $100 USD). It has been a long road, I lost contact with most of friends from high school thanks to parental isolation and I recently have been trying to reconnect.

What is the point of all this you might wonder? Pursuing your dream will not always land you in the best position. If I had followed my parents set path I would have a degree and a steady well paying paycheck. On the flip side I had sworn to myself during a dark period that if I were to get stuck in a job I hated that I would save enough money to pay for my own funeral then kill myself. So maybe that path would have been a dead end (literally).

But I don't regret pursuing what I truly love. Regulars on my blog know I love writing and sharing with fellow writers and readers a lot. Life without writing or reading books seems barren to me. And even now I would rather die happy than life a long life of regret and misery. So while there are still challenges to overcome and I am yet to get my own laptop/tablet, Steve is right about pursuing what you love being worth it. I am alive now writing and happy. Compared to wanting to really off myself at age nineteen/twenty that is quite a game changer. So I say pursue your dreams and do what you love. Don't ever go along with something that makes you want to curl up and die. Seriously, the money and diploma aint worth it if you are empty or more so dead.

P.S.: Parents don't try to force your kids into doing something you know they hate and those who support their children you will be rewarded in spades. I promise.

57 comments:

  1. Hope you get that computer soon and can continue doing something you love. Follow your dreams. Thanks for being a co-host this month.

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    1. Follow yours as well Suzanne and thanks for your kind words.

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  2. Thanks for co-hosting today.
    That is terrible your parents forced you down their path not yours. Writing wasn't my choice but I did minor in music and now get to play in a band.

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    1. I'm glad you get to do what you enjoy Alex. You're welcome and thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Thanks for co-hosting! There are times when life push you in different directions--letting you see the pros and cons of what you love. But since that's what your heart desires the most, perseverance often pays off. Best of luck to you.

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  4. Many people don't consider writing as "a Job" But I say it's a darn hard job. Keep going, pursue your dreams!! Be happy with your decisions, life is too precious and short.

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  5. My mother was only going to pay for college if I went for accounting, too. Why do parents think that's the best choice? Keep following your heart's desire.

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  6. Sheena, thanks SO much for sharing your experience. Sometimes, we make choices and of course, being human, we wonder if we've done the right thing.

    Earlier this year, I gave up a high-stress job to get more time to write. Now, I do part time. The financials are challenging as you might expect based on what's happening in Jamaica, but I trust God, plus my sanity is a whole lot more important than that big check.

    If we follow the expenses, needs and demands of the job, we'll never make the move to doing something that really makes us happy.

    The way I look at it, we have one life. It might as well be happy.

    It takes courage to follow your dream and you're clearly not short in the courage department.

    Be blessed.

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    1. Thank you so much Joy. Your words touched me and I wish you all the best.

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  7. I agree, we have never forced our children, and they all needed a year or 2 to sort their future out but now they're all happy with what they're doing and if they're happy, then that's what it's all about :) x

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  8. Totally get that. My mom told me a couple times she was living her dreams through me...not that she was forcing me into them, but I chose to do the kinds of things she never was able to.

    Anyhow... I'm glad that you found your own way.

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  9. I was urged to become a teacher. Thank goodness I didn't! (I'm a nurse.) Hats off to teachers! But that is soooo NOT for me.

    There was actually a time in my pre-teens, when I'd figured out I needed a list of character worksheets (before I even knew what that was) to write a story with a large cast. My father told me writing in my spare time would only cause my grades to drop and that I should set that folly aside.

    It took me nearly 40 years to return to it. I can't help but look smug when I visit my Amazon page and watch those royalty checks roll in every month.

    Anyhow, I vowed back then that I would never presume to know what career path was best for my kids. I'll advise them if I think they're making a choice that's bad for them, but they are the ones who have to do the work for the rest of their lives, so they're the ones who need to make the choice. Good for you for following your dreams.

    Thanks for co-hosting. :)
    IWSG #179 until Alex culls the list again.

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  10. Good grief! Sounds like we lived parallel lives. Except for the goals. I wanted to be an astronomer. My mom made me take secretarial classes. I ended up achieving my secondary goal...becoming a farmer, LOL.
    I think chance and luck has a lot to do with it too. Not to be Downer Debbie, but sometimes it just isn't in the cards to hit the New York Times Bestseller list.

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  11. It is inspiring that you pursued your dreams despite the really big roadblocks. Glad that you are getting paid for writing and I hope you can move out on your own soon. You might be in a toxic environment.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month!
    Play off the Page

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    1. I know that moving would be better for me. Glad my words inspired you and thanks for stopping by.

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  12. All I can say is, you go girl! I love how you're proud of the steps you've taken, and are taking, to get where you want to go the way you want. Your parents may have tried to make you do what you didn't want to do, but obviously they are strong and good-hearted to have produced a young woman as ambitious as you are. Keep up the good work! Thanks so much for co-hosting this special anniversary month...

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  13. Wow, you are an inspiration. Doing what you love instead of what your parents expected has to be hard. Hang in there and thanks for cohosting this month.

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  14. I'm so sorry you didn't have the support you needed. You are strong and will be much happier following your dream. Thank you for co-hosting and thank you for inspiring me. You are a shining light.

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  15. I know it was tough for my folks, but they allowed me the freedom to follow my own path. I think it was helpful that I sought to pay my own way and not beg them for cash when times were tough helped. Still, I'm a better and happier person for this. I see you are too. :)

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  16. Thank you for co-hosting.

    My parents did the same thing to me with my first degree. I wasn't brave like you were. I got the degree and even worked in that field for a long time before realizing how miserable I was. I'm glad you're able to write for money - good for you and best of luck!

    ElsieI

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  17. Good advice. I'll add one rejoinder: Sometimes doing what you hate for the right reasons feels good, is good. No pain no gain sort of stuff.

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  18. Wonderful advice! We all need to do the things we love!

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  19. Chasing dreams is fine, living them is better. Though the latter takes a lot of hard work, dedication and NOT always heeding others advice. Maybe that's why the payoff is so sweet when it's realized. Stay with it until your heart's desire says no more...and may that day never come!

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  20. It's so hard to do the opposite of what everyone tells you. I'm glad you chose the path for you.

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  21. You have to chase the bliss and live the dream. Keep working and it will pay off. Glad to see you're back!

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  22. I'm glad you stuck to your guns and took the path you wanted to take - in my opinion, it's more important to do something you love and not get paid much than to do something you hate and get paid loads of money for it.
    Good luck saving for your laptop!

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  23. I was lucky in that my parents supported what I wanted to do. It made things a lot easier. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG!

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  24. People have a way of making you feel really weird about saying your are writer, unless you are household name, which is why I think a lot of people do not think of it as a real job.

    Kudos to you for sticking with it in the face of opposition. I'm in a transition in my life right now, and the choices vs need is a lot of pressure. The hardest part is believing in yourself through the crap.

    Hope you work your computer issues out. I sometimes borrow worry about mine, as in how would I replace it right now if it crashed? @@ Yikes, don't borrow trouble, and when it hits you expect the best results. This too shall pass and everything will work out. I believe it. Keep you eye on the heart of the goal.
    Juneta at Writer's Gambit
    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

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  25. Thanks so much for sharing and for the inspiration! That's what I'm doing right now -- pursuing my dream of being a writer. I don't understand why parents try to force their kids to follow certain paths. Kids need to find their own paths and do what makes them happy. I hope you get your computer soon and best of luck with everything! And thanks for co-hosting!

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  26. Hi Sheena,
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful advice!
    The quote speaks volume!
    Yes, If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it's within your reach. And it'll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. It'll be worth it, I promise. - Steve Wozniak
    This made my day!
    Great Going my dear friend
    Thanks again for co-hosting this month;s IWSG
    Keep it up!
    Thanks for dropping at my page and for the head-up
    Keep sharing
    Best
    ~ Phil

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  27. I can totally feel your pain, Sheena and best of luck to you! Stick with it and remember success isn't always measured by the size of one's bank account.

    Thank you for co-hosting this month, great job :)

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  28. Hey Hey, Sheena, I forgot to say something:
    Hey, this white fonts in black background is really a difficult thing to read, This will give more eye strain to your visitors and readers, Actually I was about to skip the page after seeing this color format, I am sure many people like me will surely tell the same opinion
    will you be able to change the color of the font or the background color.
    Thanks
    ~ Phil

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  29. I really admire you for being so determined to follow your dream!
    Thank you for sharing so openly with us!
    You are one brave lady!
    Thank you too for co-hosting this month!

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  30. Like others I admire your persistence in following your dream! And kudos on making money off your ghostwriting, glad it has picked up again for you.

    Hope you're having fun co-hosting!

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  31. I had asked my husband if we should set up one of those federal college funds for our kids (my daughter is 4 and my son almost 1). My co-workers always talk about it, saying "start saving now" and "get the fund with high interest". My husband's response, "What if they don't want to go to college?"

    Thankfully, I come from a household who always supported my life decisions--from my blue hair, to taking a year off after high school, to becoming a computer programmer.

    Glad you're pursuing your dreams! That's good for a healthy life.

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  32. SO TRUE! I say this to my husband all the time about our 3 daughters. I pray they find a career that they are happy to spend most of their time at. Being stuck at a job you aren't happy in, just to make a living, is one of the worst kind of hells. It's not living at all, in my opinion.

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  33. Thanks for sharing with us. Keep moving forward.

    And, thank you for co-hosting.

    Heather
    (I had some trouble posting. There may be other posts that you can delete, sorry.)

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  34. I think it's great you're pursuing your dream. And I agree with the quote. If you want it enough, and are willing to work for it, you will reach your goal! :)

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  35. I am so passionate about girls working toward making their dreams come true, I interviewed 15 women who didn't let anything stop them from obtaining success in their chosen careers and put the interviews in a book to inspire and empower MG girls. You go, GRRRLL! Thanks for hosting!

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  36. Aloha Co-hosty:)

    All I can say is, "wow, you have had a crazy few months!"

    So happy for you, though, that you have stuck to your guns :)

    You are truly an inspiration to many of us and I continue to wish you nothing but the best :)

    (I could say Don't Ever Quit, but I know you won't ever do that anyway :)

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  37. I agree with you about pursuing our dreams. We only have one life to live, so we need to and make it into something that makes us happy.

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  38. It's difficult when you don't get support from family, but sticking to your dreams is the best way to avoid regret.

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  39. They say that if you do what you love you never work a day in your life. It's always inspiring when someone stays true to themselves.

    Thanks for the reminder about this Wednesday's post!

    Cheers,
    Adrienne

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  40. I believe it was a wonderful (not black) sheep creative eager to live.

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  41. So sorry you didn't have any support from your family to help you achieve your dreams but glad that didn't make you give them up.

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  42. It must be so hard not having the support you really need from your family. But Steve is definitely right about all the hard work being worth it in the end :) You are very brave to keep chasing your dreams!

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  43. *takes deep breath* Wow. Now, that's dedication. (Sounds almost like a calling) I can't believe the hard work won't pay off in the end. Hope you get your computer soon!

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  44. Wow, that is quite a story. It must be very hard not having family support. I agree with you and the quote and encourage you to continue pursuing your dreams. You are happy and it is unfortunate that your parents can't share that with you. Don't you hate the label, "Black sheep," of the family. It sounds to me like you were a great kid that any parent should be proud of. Ghostwriter must be a tough position for you because it is most definitely work, but sadly not work that your family can physically see, therefore they refuse to recognize it. Follow your dreams and one day they will be proud to read your work. Hang in there. Thanks for co-hosting this event.

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  45. Hi Sheena! This is my first visit to your blog. Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG blog this month. I wasn't able to get around yesterday, so I'm visiting today. Wow, you've been through a lot! Sometimes the world seems to put nothing in front of one but obstacles. Just keep fighting through. Your line about really wanting to off yourself at nineteen/twenty hit me hard. Been there ~ I know what a dark place it is. I'm glad that you are feeling alive and happy. Keep following your dreams! It's persistence that carries you through. I survived several suicidal periods, and I'm so glad that I did. I would have missed so much that was wonderful! Hang in there! The world needs your voice!

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  46. yep, the happiest are those who do what they love... not many of those around, though....

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  47. Loooove that quote from Wozniak. Things like this keep me motivated. Thanks :)

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  48. That's so deep and true, Sheena. I've had so many short-term jobs because all I wanted to do was write. I didn't even want to go to college, so at least my mom was happy when I decided to go to an art college (before I transferred twice...but well).

    I'll never be happy in a 9-to-5, so I have to hold on to the hope and work hard at getting my writing published. SO glad you kept to your dream. I know people who didn't because of their parents, and it's just so wrong.

    Thanks for co-hosting! And sharing that with us. <3

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  49. I know I'd have been better off financially if I'd not always had writing at the heart of everything I do. Why go to college, I'm going to be a writer? Why push for that promotion, I'm going to be a writer? At the end of the day, I am happy... and you sound happy too - much more than if you'd stayed at university :-)

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  50. Best of luck with the computer. Sharing must make working difficult. You're very brave to stubbornly follow your dreams.

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  51. Thank you for co-hosting! I wish you luck getting that computer too and I hope your ghost writing continues to be fruitful! I did not wholeheartedly start following my passion until I was in my 40's. Good for you!
    doreenmcgettigan.com

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  52. I'm finally catching up with my IWSG comments. What a week! Great to meet you as co-host and to learn something about you. Glad you found your own way at last.

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  53. What a powerful story. Thank you for sharing it and for co-hosting. I'm glad to know that you are happy with the choices you've made, I'm only sad your family wasn't backing you the whole way. I'm not quite a black sheep in my family but I am the odd ball. My family supports with but haven't stopped make strange and stressed looks about me. The fact that they do it anyway makes all the difference.

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