Do you remember your first-ever real dream as a kid? Maybe you wanted to be a doctor or a fashion designer. We all have our crazy dreams that we swore up and down we would do as an adult and have no regrets about.
Of course, many of us usually end up not doing them because of how fairly unrealistic or far-fetched some of them turned out to be. We realized this the moment we actually became adults and reality hit us like a cold bucket of ice water. But, for some people, their childhood dreams aren’t that far-fetched.
In fact, some of them are achievable with hard work and a can-do attitude.
At 13, my dream shifted to what I realized I really wanted to be one day. I always loved books as a kid and reading everything I could. I even read my parents’ college textbooks as they got their degrees during my childhood! I just loved reading that much and thought the material was interesting.
As I became a teenager, I realized I wanted to become a writer. I was the one kid in school who could read a 500-page book in a day, always had a stack of books in my locker as my To-Read list, and I was usually seen in the classroom corner with my latest binge-read after finishing my assignment instead of talking with the few friends I had. I even wrote three books by the time I was 18 as a hobby.
Yeah, you get the point. I was a huge book nerd. (And proud of it!)
But, alas, my dreams were dashed at 18 when I was told my goal of having writing be my career was foolish and I should stick to something “realistic” instead. (No, it wasn’t my parents.) I was utterly crushed and abandoned my childhood dream.
Years later, I found myself working as a housekeeper; cleaning houses, vacuuming and mopping floors as a means of income. After doing this for some years, I realized I absolutely hated my job with a burning passion! I was miserable and very unhappy (and I hated the carpet burns so many vacuum sessions left on my knees). To add salt to the wound, I saw my friends making money doing things they actually liked; why couldn’t I?
I was midway through my 20’s now, it wasn’t fair to keep doing something I hated as a means of work. I had heard of many people making money from home now, so I decided to check it out. When it came to top at-home jobs people were now doing, I saw one that flicked on the light bulb in my head.
People were making real money from at-home writing. Instead of spending hours in a day doing something I loathed, I could have been spending this whole time doing work I actually liked and came naturally to me! I almost felt cheated and cursed myself for allowing some criticism to rob me of a career I wanted almost more than anything for years now.
Despite the odds and knowledge of the fact that this would only happen if I put real work into it, I decided to make it my goal to eventually leave housekeeping and make writing and editing my full-time job. I was sick of being unhappy with my life, doing a job I hated when I could have been pursuing something I loved and would allow me to pursue other goals I had dreamed of eventually doing as well.
And so my new journey began! I began digging through Google page after page, Youtube channels, online communities, landing brief but vital coaching sessions from already established writers and doing so much more research on how to make this my real job. It took me six weeks to set up my website on my own along with cold pitching and guest posts, but I began to establish myself as a freelance writer for hire.
When I got my first real guest post published, I felt so good seeing my author bio on the bottom. I heard an inner voice go, ‘You’re actually doing this! Your first real blog post for the world to read!’
When I helped proofreader Kristina Segarra co-edit an education book and I saw my name in the copyeditor acknowledgments after it was published, I felt like fireworks were going off in the background behind me. My name was now published in an educational textbook I helped edit! I was published!
When I landed a writing gig that involved me getting feedback on my writing ability with a real editing team who told me I had real writing talent… it was the best feeling in the world! These people were far more experienced than me in writing and editing. And yet, they’re validating the fact that I had real writing skills!
Even though I had no degree or college experience, I had professional writers and editors telling me I had actual skill to be proud of nonetheless. My childhood taught skills (not to mention me often choosing books over socialization because of how shy I was) had finally paid off and I could take pride in the fact that I had real talent as a writer. Talent that people could actually pay me to use for them!
Anyone who told me I couldn’t do this was wrong. I could actually make this work.
But the best feeling of all… was the realization my childhood dream is no longer just a dream. I was finally, finally, doing work I was no longer simply good at. I was finally doing work I was actually good at and loved. My former teenage self was finally living out her dream.
I still have much work ahead of me, but I made the leap of faith and have since established myself as a real writer. I’m now being paid to do something I fantasized about doing when I was 13-years-old in my junior high school classroom.
I’m finally living out my childhood dream and it’s an awesome feeling! It’s never too late to take a chance on your dreams. Never.