The final few months of my time in school are coming to an end. And it’s hard. Really hard. You never know how much you’ll miss something until it’s gone, but I can already tell my life will be changing a lot. I’ll be moving away from home, living at university, closing the gap on my dream. And yeah, I am so excited. It’s a new chapter of my life, one where I get to be a fully independent me, one where I get to start afresh, and that makes me smile.
I’m going to take a degree in Psychology (I know it’s crazy, me, actually at uni) and then take a few more years of training so that I can be a fully chartered professional counsellor or behavioural therapist. I’m hoping to be able to specialise in a particular area that I am closely associated with: teenagers with disabilities, particularly sensory impairments, because I myself am severely sight impaired, with only about 7% of vision. Now when people ask me what I want to do for a career I tell them what I just told you. I often get some stunned faces, some questionable voices back: “but are you even allowed to do that?”, “but you’re Visually impaired!” and so forth. When I first heard these comments I used to let them consume me, I trusted their judgement that I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t cut out for a role that is, in all honesty, quite tough. I know that it isn’t just me, a lot of people in today’s society get examined by practically everyone, seeing if they fit into a category of work. And I hate it. I hate how I let so many people knock my confidence, how I listened to them calling me weak and dumb. But then I realised that there is a fire in me, that really wants to prove those people wrong, and to prove to myself that I can make a difference. The whole reason I want to be a counsellor is to help people handle difficult situations, to understand people who can be hard to reach, to teach them how to be happy again. I have always had a fascination with understanding the human brain, to question different behaviours, and ask what makes everyone so different (I’m hoping that doesn’t sound creepy aha).
I have had my fair share of difficulties which needless to say, have really tested me, but they have taught me how to be strong, and have courage, and to follow my dream. I have had friends, even family, who have had mental disorders like OCD and Depression, who were too scared to ask for help, who needed someone to listen. I do wish that society lost the stigma of mental illness, allowed people to know that wounds don’t have to be permanent, that they can heal. I won’t be prevented from being who I want to be any longer, at the end of the day, I just want to show people there is light. Yes it will take a lot of work, and sacrifice, but I’m okay with that. If I can give back to the people who helped me, by helping other people, then I will be happy.
The gap between my dream and reality is closing, I can do this. I believe I can. I wouldn’t have said that 2 years ago but I am so grateful I never gave up my dream. I want to give a voice to people, to let them be free from the mould society tries to put you in, because that is what people did for me and I am so thankful.
My biggest lesson for people is probably my simplist: if you have a goal, aim for it, and don’t look back. “Shoot for the moon, because even if you don’t reach it, you’ll land among the stars”.