One little article that became an incredible honor

About a month ago, my friend Samantha asked me if I could write a short article about career advice I received from my elders. She wanted to use it as part of one her articles on Yellow Brick Road, a career advice website. I actually struggled a bit with writing it. After I finally finished something, I sent it off – unsure if it was what Samantha was looking for.

This is the article that Sam created from that piece – as well as other conversations we have had and other blog posts I had written. The article and the comments that followed have both made my heart smile. I mentioned this article in my birthday post last week, but I wanted to share the piece that started it . . . And if you haven’t checked out Sam’s article yet, please do . . . Any comments/shares/tweets on her article will be greatly appreciated! 🙂

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My life didn’t quite turn out the way I had planned. That’s not at all surprising, is it? Does anyone’s life ever turn out they way they plan it?

I dreamt of being a writer, but had those dreams squashed by certain naysayers. So I changed my focus. When I went to college, I majored in Elementary Education and Psychology and minored in Special Education. I was going to make a difference in the lives of children.

I started my first “real” teaching job. No more co-operating teachers, supervisors or advisors to sugar coat my world. It took me a grand total of 4 weeks to decide that I was not cut out for the politics of teaching.

So I quit. And I waitressed. A few months later, I was pregnant. Life took on a whole new meaning and I spent the next several years in one dead-end job after another because all that really mattered was that I was able to provide for my child.

As I neared my 30’s, I began to think it was too late for me. I began to feel like I would be working in customer service for the rest of my life.

And then I remembered someone. I don’t know her name, but I can picture her face as clear as day. I met her while I was in college. I worked in a deli and she was a customer. I only saw her a few times. She was a beautiful woman with a beautiful smile and a radiance about her that was difficult to miss.

She was 74-years-old. She was married for nearly 50 years when her husband died. All of her life she had been a housewife and a mother. With her children grown and her husband passed on, she was at a loss with what to do with herself.

She enrolled in college. She graduated the year before I started. I don’t even remember what her major was. I know that she left with her degree and started a job for the first time in her life. And she was happy.

So who was I to think I was out of options at 30 years old? No, I most certainly was not out of options. I started looking for ways out, for new chances and it wasn’t long before I quit my dead-end job. I picked up my laptop (figuratively speaking) and decided that I am a freelance writer.

The next step was to take a bit of advice from another very special woman in my life. These were the words of my mother many moons ago, “Dayle, you can do anything you want to, as long as you work hard to do it!”

And that’s what I’m doing. From the examples set by a woman I barely knew and a woman I loved more than life itself, I had all I needed to get my career started.

It’s never too late to work hard for what you want in your life.

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Wonderful article, I’m sure you’ll have success.

    Kindest regards,
    David

    Reply

  2. Yeah, my life hasn’t turned out the way I thought it would either. lol Like you, I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid, but I never had any encouragement. It wasn’t a practical job, like being a nurse, which was what all my cousins wanted to be. 🙂 Anyway, after graduation I was kind of lost for a few years, then I went into retail where I have been for almost 12 years. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy it! But I haven’t given up on my writing dreams which was something that I didn’t even realize until I started blogging. 🙂 And I agree with you, it’s never too late to go after what you want in life. 🙂

    Reply

    • There were certainly aspects of retail (and waitressing) that I enjoyed. As much as I hate people sometimes, I loved dealing with my customers (most of the time).

      I think the age of the internet has made a writing career much more accessible. I didn’t even own my first internet capable computer until I was 21 I think. At the time, I didn’t know how to do much more than putz around on AOL. Now, I have the internet to thank for all of my freelance work, wonderful networking opportunities, fabulous friends and of course, blogging!

      Reply

  3. Very inspirational article. Especially about the 74 year-old. How scary that must have been for anyone in her shoes in so many ways.
    And kudos for you, because you are definitely a great writer!

    Reply

  4. Such a great story, I left a comment on her post about it. 🙂

    Reply

  5. Aww I’m so glad I had this chance to get to know you better, Dayle! =) I hope you were able to see a fighter in yourself and that you can harness that feeling when times get rough. Always here for ya! =) And sending you tons of good vibes for client hunting!

    Reply

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