When I was a kid we played outside. You did not have to bargain with us to put down our device and be active. We rode bikes, played in the dirt, collected bugs and caught lizards. Not much has changed with how I choose to enjoy my leisure time. When given the choice I still pick to spend time out in the elements of the earth. Had I not had a string of crummy teachers in middle school I would have probably sought a degree in something like animal science or wildlife management however, my fear of failure drove me to a degree in theater.
Growing up I feared failure a lot. Perhaps its because I had a parent who consistently told me I would always be an ugly worthless failure, with no friends, and no one to love me. I spent a long time angry about this situation but have recently embraced the fact that I cannot change the past and realized the experience gives me an expert view that others do not have.
Now, as an adult, I welcome failure as a learning opportunity. That is not to say that I have not spent an unhealthy chunk of time attempting to justify my worth to myself. I had a tendency to discount my achievements for one reason or another however, now I am learning (with the help of a therapist) to be proud and a little selfish. I am tackling my dreams head on and hope that my perseverance helps others to also see their abilities and recognize that they are not alone with the challenges they face.
In the fall of 2019 I took a big step toward my goal of ending the stigma attached to mental illness and began to work toward a masters degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. On this journey I hope to explore, answer and develop solutions to some of the challenges individuals with disabilities (physical, emotional, and mental) face.