Give me the child at 7 …

When I was deciding to quit my Masters a few years ago, I made my decision based on a few very specific thoughts.  I had not been happy writing my thesis over 1.5 years, even though achieving the goal of being accepted for my Masters had taken many years of hard work and a great deal of support (that I remain grateful for). However, one day I was sitting in my study looking at my computer and I thought, 'Is this really what I want to do?'

Money rules the World

As soon as I honestly answered that question with a firm and quick no, I thought, 'Well what now?'  The 'I can't afford to leave my degree' excuse came so quickly, I was horrified.  Money should never be the reason for doing anything you aren't happy doing.  Yes, I had a scholarship. However, couldn't I make money doing something else?  Of course I could.  I have several degrees. I've apparently got a brain, a CV showing years of work in various research areas, volunteering work as a university mentor ...  but what do I really want to do? What would really make me happy? Before I go on, I don’t have an easy, peasy type of life that allows me to pick and choose at whim.  I worked extremely hard on my research career.  I gave up rest, I went through many health issues related to quadriplegia, I lost an enormous amount of weight after a surgery and went back to work while recovering, determined not to give in to my disability. I do have a mortgage. I do have financial responsibilities.  No, I don’t have children, but like a mortgage, children are a choice not a basic need. My disability needs are insured by the Transport Accident Commission (but that is about 5 more posts to explain that is not what it seems). What I’m saying is, don’t make up excuses by comparing my life to yours.  Be honest.

How I chose my new career

I took the idea from the Up series wherein the theory is, that, based on their socio-economic upbringing to 7 years of age, the child as an adult can be predicted. Instead of that, I thought of myself as a child of that age and what I really loved doing then. IMG (2) Here I am at some unknown age - I think I'm about 6 -8 years old?  Guess what I loved doing! Yep, doing my own thing - writing, reading, drawing and creating. That was when I could be so involved in a project that the rest of the world was silent. Remember that feeling? Your Mum would be yelling your name and it is with complete shock that you suddenly hear her? It was truly as if you were in another world.  I consider myself lucky to have grown up in the 70's for my childhood.  Black and white TV, no computers or 'i' anything. Time to play, time to just be a kid.  Time to be. Well I wanted that feeling again.  I wanted to take what I loved doing as a child, add it to my career highlights and education, blend it into an adult concept and ... that's what I did.

How I achieved my vision

I decided to expand on my volunteer work and love of education and the English language.  After talking to some international students I started to teach English as a second language and gained a certificate to teach it overseas.  I branched into tutoring for iELTS (the English language proficiency test that Australia uses for non-citizen higher education entry and migration).  I then decided to start this blog to write about my experiences as I work towards my goal of living in Paris.  In what has been a very exciting new avenue, I started writing for an online magazine!

Easy or difficult?

In terms of money, it is not easy.  The scholarship has gone. I invested money I had, wisely. I have a home.  I'm not a starving artist - at 46 years old I wouldn't want to be! I am creative at using teaching materials I find on line.  I don't drive so I don't need a car.  I live in the city.  My students travel to me.  I can write anywhere.  I generally don't waste money on 'stuff'.  I like to cook.  Creativity is the way to make money.  Think outside of the square and use what you have already. There is no excuse big enough to not be living your dreams.

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About Sandra E Brown

I withdrew from my Masters (Neuropsychology) to write a blog instead, and to teach English as a second language. Life is too short to be doing something you want to retire from at 65! I now live in Paris, France.
This entry was posted in Disability, Excuses versus life, How to reach a goal, Melbourne, Motorised wheelchair, Quadriplegia. Bookmark the permalink.

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