Reaching for my dreams

Hello!

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”. 

Violetkatie xx    

     

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It’s okay to be different

Good morning!

I would like to address an issue that is constantly appearing in my school during different phases of the year, and which appears to follow me around all the time….

Everyone is different, and everyone has their quirks and their limitations.  However one thing that we do too often is to let other people’s opinions and criticisms consume us.  We feel more influenced by what others think, than what we think ourselves.  This does make a little sense to be honest, however I feel that some people just take it too far.  I know I am different, you know you are different, there is no normal.

One thing that has led me to become largely annoyed over the previous weeks is the inability of some to accept that we do not go by the same lives.  I have countless people tell me in the past week “well it’s your fault you can’t see the worksheet, you deal with it” and “you aren’t very popular so why would you not accept an invitation to come to my party – I’m trying to help you look cool”.  First of all, may I just say I wouldn’t change who i am for anyone, and there are things that do prove challenging to deal with.  However I wouldn’t be who I am without them.  The person who thinks that I’m not cool, and not popular, has never before talked to me.  They don’t know that I swim, dance, volunteer and have a seperate life away from school.  And I enjoy these things, they help me learn and grow as a person, and I’ve had so many opportunities to make new friends and try other things.  The reason I don’t really go to parties is because I don’t have the time and I don’t find these people interesting.  The sad thing is that some people go to parties every week, as it is the only thing they do.  That is their choice, and my choice is mine.  If only more people would understand that it is okay to not follow the crowd, and to be your own person, and I am happy to have my small group of friends at school.

To the people who blame me for my visual impairment, and tell me to “deal with it”, I’ve been doing that all my life.  I don’t just “deal with it” anyway.  I embrace the fact that I perceive the world differently, and although it does take more time and effort to do things, that is okay.  Life is too short to worry and be upset by your limitations, I learnt that a long time ago.  Being visually impaired is part of who I am, and I feel it makes me more interesting.  I’ve had challenges and setbacks, just like everyone else.  However I have accepted these and overcome them.

To the people who tell me I’m boring, and that I look weird.  You never talk to me unless you have to.  You may ignore me and pretend I’m not in your class, but I am.  I have opinions like you do, you just never hear them as you are too scared to talk to the “vi girl”.  But I’m not just VI, I’m a student, I’m a girl, and I’m a human.  Everyone deserves a certain level of common decency and respect, but unfortunately there are people in this world, in this generation, who are not able to look past the obvious.  It is a shame this is true.  I may not be able to talk about everything you want to, and I may not understand why people chose to do some things, but I can discuss ideas, and events, and many things inbetween.  I do have a brain, and a heart, just like everyone else.  But I am different, and that is nothing to be afraid of.

My message to the people who doubt me is; I am just as capable as living life to the fullest as you are, and I intend to do so.  People believing I can not do things very well, and I don’t fit in with everyone else, I honestly don’t care.  I have my life, and I will enjoy it.  I have often spent hours crying because I couldn’t accept who I am, and I thought I was a disappointment to everyone who knew me.  I used to deliberately skip social events because I thought I would embarrass everyone else, but I won’t do it anymore.  I’m tired of sacrificing who I really am to make others feel better.  I want to live, and those people who aren’t happy with that – you deal with it.

Love Violetkatie xx