1. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    Silencing the dream killers

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by yagr, Feb 7, 2012.

    In a recent post elsewhere in the forum, a member discussed how his family was discouraging his dreams of becoming a published author. Sadly, it's not a new theme; other members have posted similar situations. We've got enough people in the world who are ready to tell us what we can't accomplish; dream-killers are everywhere. From time to time I think we all need a little inspiration to follow our dreams and so...

    What have you been able to accomplish that you were told was impossible? Go ahead, brag on yourself. You just might inspire someone on the brink of giving up.
     
  2. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    After escaping from my cult upbringing, I joined forces with another former member who I'd grown up with, and we created a local support group for people who'd left or were trying to leave the cult. Last year we accomplished the 'impossible' task of helping a family of three get out, despite spectacular opposition from their families and 'friends'. They even had to move and keep their new address secret. It may not sound like much, but everyone said 'you'll never get them out without destroying their lives', but we did. Their young daughter will grow up in an environment free of hate, prejudice and judgement, able to read whatever books she wants, make whatever choices she wants, even attend university, which neither her parents or I were permitted to do. They are happy now and free, and I'm so grateful I had a chance to be a part of helping them get there.
     
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  3. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    The only one who can "kill a dream" is the dreamer.

    More dreams die of neglect than are ever killed by others.
     
  4. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ooh! I like that RomanticRose. I have to admit, I've missed out on more in life not because of what someone else said but because of not following through. Very good advice.
     
  5. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Happy to do any little thing I can do to add to the confusion.

    Now, get off the forums and feed your dream. The only real way to "silence" those who aspire to killing your dream is to make your dream so alive as to be invincible.
     
  6. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    I believe that we all change peoples lives every day. That said, few have the opportunity to alter someones life in such a profound and positive way. Congratulations on choosing to act when the opportunity arose.
     
  7. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    Absolutely agree, though often the impetus for our own neglect is fear brought into existance by others.
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    It DOES sound like a lot. Are you kidding me? So many people stay in situations like that because they don't see a way out, or because they fear being shunned by everyone they know (look at most of Fred Phelps's kids). That's amazing of you and will help a lot of people in ways you might not know about. People who are TRULY spiritual promote love and knowledge, not hate and imprisonment.

    I'm fortunate to not have "dream-killers" in my life, but for those that do, don't let them stifle you. If it's someone in your immediate family, either tell them politely but assertively to stop discouraging you (if you're on your own and feel you can do so), or just bite the bullet and ignore their comments until you're on your own. If you have a "dream-killing" friend or romantic partner, immediately cut them out of your life. I once saw a thread (long ago, maybe last year) about people who have significant others who did not approve of their writing. If my boyfriend ever tried to stop me from writing, limit my writing or otherwise curb it, I'd dump him immediately (as it is, he thinks it's hot that I'm a writer, so we're good).

    People who get in other people's faces about their life choices when it doesn't affect them are just insecure with their own lives. They're stuck in this rut -- perhaps they got themselves there by blindly following norms -- and then feel threatened when another person chooses something else.
     
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  9. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Allowing fear to influence your thoughts and actions is a choice one makes. I had lots of people tell me that I absolutely could not make a living by writing. Yes I did have that Negative Nelly voice in my head that kept telling me they were right. I chose not to listen to that voice or the naysayers.
     
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  10. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sigh. Okay. :p (Slinks off to start rewriting my short story)
     
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  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    "The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer." - old US Navy saying.
     
  12. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    Remember it well...though I'm feeling old enough these days to think it was a new saying when I was in. ;)
     
  13. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It occurs to me that TD is the only one who actually responded to yagr's original post. That may be because of yagr's comment "Go ahead, brag on yourself", which I think he meant as flip but which may have kept some from posting. I know it gave me pause - no one likes to think of himself as bragging.
     
  14. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    Absolutely did mean it flip Ed, we've all done things to be proud of. Funny thing about bragging isn't it? I brag about my children for doing exactly the same thing that I have done and it's heartwarming; I brag about my own accomplishments and it's a turn-off. *shrug* I forget about that programming sometimes.
     
  15. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    That navy saying sounds a lot like something I've been saying for years. Not sure if I made it up or heard it somewhere but I live by, "Nothing is impossible. Some things just take a little longer to achieve."

    Now if I personally choose to walk away from a goal, that is my prerogative. I had dreams of med school, but they aspired after I had 3 children. I realized what I wanted to do as a doctor, I could accomplish as a nurse practitioner. I could also work my way through school as opposed to doing nothing but survive off of loans. Impossible? No. Just something I chose not to do for the sake of my kids. So off to nursing school I go (hopefully soon, as I'm waiting to find out if I got into the program right now LOL).

    I don't listen well to "I can't" or "that's impossible." It just grates on my nerves for some reason.
     
  16. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    BF, I know what you mean. When I was in my 20s, my goal was to teach on the college level. I'd finished my masters degree and was working my way through a doctorate in international relations, working a job in insurance in claims administration that I disliked intensely. My wife and I had been married for 4 years, had bought a house and were starting to think seriously about starting a family, something we both wanted to do. I started applying for adjunct teaching positions at various two year colleges in my area with no success (one department sent me back a mimeographed response). Finally, the department chair at the school where I had done my BA and MA recommended me for an adjunct post at a different campus, but when I called the department chair there, he told me that they were looking for someone who already had their doctorate...and 5 years teaching experience...and had published a major work.

    I knew someone who had just earned a PhD in physics and couldn't get a job. He had just started his MBA. I vowed that wouldn't be me, and after a lot of soul searching, decided to drop out of the doctoral program and went for my MBA in accounting. It was a painful decision at the time. By the time I graduated, we had a baby daughter, and it wouldn't be long before we had a son. The insurance company I worked for had a position in the accounting department, and I was able to move over there and stay in a company I liked. Three years later, I moved over to the tax department, where my claims experience came in very handy. Because of a change in the tax law in 1991, I was assigned to represent the company on an industry group that was submitting a major proposal to the Treasury Department, and it turned out I was the only one in the group who had actually worked on insurance products. I ended up drafting a significant portion of our submission, and the Treasury department subsequently adopted my position in its regulations. Because of my work on that committee, I was offered a major step up at another company, which I took.

    The position did not work out as I had hoped, but the five years I spent there were put to other good use: we had a very flexible work schedule, and so I was able to devote a lot of time to my children's education issues. Both were special needs children, and I did a lot of advocacy work, helping to stop Rudy Giuliani's efforts to gore state regulations on special ed (to save money, of course). Shortly after those controversies were laid to rest, I was offered a position as the #2 tax guy at another insurance company, and I made the move. I spent 12 years there, involved in every aspect of tax administration and planning.

    But as time went on, there were problems. New management wanted to get aggressive at squeezing out profits - they froze salaries in 2008 because other companies were doing so and they could get away with it; they froze us out from replacing people who left; no budget for training (bad idea in the tax field, where everything is always changing); they pushed outsourcing. Senior management bonuses? Safe as houses. I got into a war on the outsourcing issue, and in the end I was able to save the jobs of the department. But there was a cost: I was in the crosshairs of management and I knew it. The pressure became unbearable; I wasn't sleeping and I was breaking out in hives. Finally, I decided I'd had enough, a decision my wife wholeheartedly supported.

    I took a 50% pay cut to go work for the government. Suddenly, I was working normal hours. I no longer had a Blackberry. I didn't scratch incessantly. I had time to exercise, but didn't feel like I wanted to kill someone if I didn't get to it. After a year, I was able to work extra hours when it suited me in order to take time off when I wanted, a kind of flexibility I hadn't had since the mid-1990s. And, lo and behold, that was just in time, as NY State is now looking to completely restructure the way it funds programs for people with disabilities, a dagger pointed at my daughter's heart (she is now 28, living in a community residence and attending a day program for adults with developmental disabilities). The money I gave up? Don't miss it. We got rid of a second car we didn't need. We don't eat out nearly as often. Instead, I've developed cooking as a hobby. We go to fewer sporting events and watch more on TV. We don't buy as much as we used to, but then we never really needed the things we no longer buy.

    Looking back, the decision that was so painful at the time - to abandon my dream of being a college professor - allowed me to have a fulfilling career, and even the supposed "downers" in my career resulted in benefits I would never have done without. Curious, too, that at the two times in my life I most needed to have the freedom of a completely flexible schedule, I had it.

    It wasn't the path I dreamed about or planned. Then again, the statement that makes God laugh the most: "I have a plan."

    I have no doubt, BF, that you will be a terrific nurse practitioner.
     
  17. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    Well I guess my problems started when my mother took me out a public school in New Zealand and into a private cult, the school/highschool in question focussed alot more on the development of the spirit than the intellect. At my new school I learned how to play the lyre, recorder, learned how to bake, sing, about auras, telepathy, fortune telling and the afterlife. When I was 14 I became a manic depressant and attempted suicide, sensing that I wasn't the happiest chappy in the world my mother decided a change of scenery would help replenish my chakara, so we moved to Australia.

    My time at Highschool was pretty challenging, coming from a sheltered life; I should probably note now that at the age of fifteen I didn't know what a noun was or my times tables, so that made my education rather difficult. When my mother saw that my grades had gone from rainbows and unicorns to E's and D's she decided to get me tested for learning difficulties. Turned out that ontop of a poor education I also had Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyspraxia (they effect fine motor skills such as writing and drawing, reading, articulation, balance, spelling and concentration). To compensate I became the class clown and acted up in the lessons I did the worst in. Needless to say a few teachers took issue with that, one being my year 10 English teacher, who ridiculed my ignorance in class and called my parents, urging them to pull me out of High school. My mother was obviously concerned, but I managed to convince her to let me stay providing my grades increased.

    So for the next three years Google became my best friend, every day after school I'd pull out my notebook which had a list of words, formulas, terms that I didn't understand and I'd research the shit out of them, after one year I became a B average student, another year later one of my favorite teachers introduced me to the wonders of psychology and sociology, and another showed me that a simple sentence can reveal great truths and beauty.

    This year I just got accepted to university to do a double degree in psychology and journalisim, I wrote my first poem which was published in a journal (just a highschool journal mind you), my first short story which I've uploaded here for review (The Last) and I've started my first novel. I know I'm no where near as knowledgeable on the technicalities of language as most of you on this forum, but I enjoy creating my works, and the more I make the better I'll get. (mostly copypasta, but still relevant)
     
  18. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think I've ever come across people trying to stop me from doing what I want. Sometimes it's a good think being someone you don't expect anything from :D in the sense that I don't think people who knew me as I grew up ever thought I would become successful in ANY field one day. I wasn't an ambitious person and never has been. I have never opted for any specific careeer, maybe because as a kid all I really wanted to do was writing and spending my days among my storiepeople, but since I already knew it wouldn't happen I settled for any old job that meant I could make a living from it, which happened to be a shop assistant and I really like it and today I'd say I actually am good at it. it was just recently that I decided that the old dream was worth pursuing after all and now it has given my life a new meaning.
     
  19. TDFuhringer
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    TDFuhringer Contributing Member Contributor

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    What a wonderful recovery and successful life you've made out of such a rough start! I was moved by your post. I shared it with a friend who was home schooled, raised in a cult, and incredibly also has Dyspraxia. She wants to go to university and I shared your post with her to show her someone similar to her has been accepted. Thanks so very much!
     
  20. Snap228
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    This is such a great thread. I feel like my story doesn't compare to some of the amazing, uplifting ones told.

    My girlfriend and I met in a group of tight-knit friends who were full of scepticism, cynicism and sarcasm. We both overcame difficult childhoods, and a year after we met we started dating with dubious focasts for our future. We didn't even tell anyone for months, and when we did, we ultimately had to cut out that group of friends completely from our lives, a difficult decision that ultimately proved to be the best for both of us.

    Neither of us felt "gay," so we struggled to find our place in a group of friends and family that did not accept homosexuality at the best of times, and scorned it at it's worst. While struggling to keep our relationship afloat, we both struggled with finding our seperate sexualities, since neither of us identified ourselves as gay or bisexual before we started dating. The hardest part was telling our families, once it was apparent it had become "serious," neither of which welcomed the news. We survived infidelity, one crazy family (hers) and one conservative and one cynical family (mine). Now we have not only carved out our niche in the world (more or less), are going strong after two years, and are engaged.
     

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